IST community connects, learns from each other at annual conference

Around 130 people gathered together this month for the 23rd annual IST Conference. This year’s theme was "Learning for Progress, Teaching for the Future, and Designing for Diverse Contexts." The conference advocated diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and also aimed to discuss many emerging Edtech topics, such as artificial intelligence in education.

Attendees participated online and in person, marking the first time the IST Department held a hybrid conference and also the first conference held in person post-pandemic. The hybrid format allowed conference organizers to create an inclusive experience that reached a global audience, while students had the opportunity to share their latest projects and discuss current themes and trends in the IST field.

"This was a unique chance for our distance students to meet in person and connect with other distance and residential students. Many people met for the first time or were reunited,” said Alyse Harris, Graduates in Instructional Systems Technology President and Conference Vice-Chair.

Conference Chair Lin Chu said after this conference, she realized that IST is more than just an academic department: “Although many of us had the opportunity to practice presenting at a conference or exchanging new research ideas, I also saw the simple joys of connecting with the community and a sense of belonging. I could see that many students, faculty, and alums believe IST is our home. So, the conference is important because it not only provides a safe environment for everyone to practice and hone their skills in research but also is a place for all ISTers to build and become involved in this community.”