When I started my year as ISLS president in June after the ICLS 2016 conference in Singapore, I took the opportunity to reflect on my own history as a member of this society. I began to attend ISLS conferences 16 years ago, soon after I became a member of ISLS. I have been active in various committees and roles in the society since. Put differently, ISLS has been part of my life for more than a third of my life, and I have gone to its conferences for longer than I have gone to school. Thus, it is a great honor for me, and I am very thankful to be serving the society as President this year.
I have made it my mission as President to contribute towards two main goals. First, I aim to continue ongoing efforts in our society of putting together accessible and sustainable documentation of our practices with regard to major societal activities (e.g. board elections, or committee charges), our conferences, our journals, et cetera, in order to support continuity and “quality assurance”. Second, with regard to our conferences, I think we are at a point where we might want to discuss and adapt some of our traditions and practices, so that we maintain the high quality of our meetings, yet remain open to innovations at the same time. It is very important to me to maintain and further develop the unique character of our conferences. Our conferences are the heart and soul of our society. This is where we – in addition to publishing in our journals – discuss our research and ideas. This is also where we meet as colleagues and friends, and where we build our community.
I am looking forward to a productive ISLS year culminating when we meet for this year’s conference, CSCL 2017, in Philadelphia, June 18th through the 22th.
President, International Society of the Learning Sciences