When Change is ...

  
Change is inevitable. It is among very few true constants in the universe. Even something that seems like it would be impervious to its environment or any forces that may act on it will--eventually--change. The last few years have brought many changes in my life; some have been for the better, some... not so much. 

I was on track to complete my PhD in near-record time. My prospectus was written and submitted, my advisor (of a year) was on board, and I was beginning to make arrangements to complete steps toward actual research. I had moved, and was beginning work in a new school district. All was well with the world. Then, it wasn't. My advisor left the school to take a position elsewhere. I didn't know why he stopped responding to my emails until I had finally had enough silence and reached out to the interim program leader. She told me he had left after the previous semester, but no one bothered to let me know. Then I had a period with NO advisor as they tried to sort out who would be with which program after the university was finished reconfiguring the graduate school programs in education.

When my new advisor reached out, my old topic was no longer a good focus, so we looked for something else. For a few months, we were working together on an organizationally beneficial research project for our mutual professional organization. Then--suddenly--that was no longer an appropriate topic. I scrambled to find a new topic, IoT was too big. "Save that one for your book," she said. Then we limited the focus to using Amazon Alexa in the classroom. I wanted to do a large general survey, then narrow it down to a single individual from each grade level for a more qualitative focus with open-ended questions to help understand where people stood and why. I spent weeks pouring over research trying to get something that would support a high-quality question to guide the research. Then my advisor announced her retirement. All summer, I waited to find out who my new advisor would be so I could get started over again. 

Now I am assigned a new advisor and hoping to work with the new professor at school because his research interests thus far have been well-aligned to my own. Augmented reality has caught my attention, and I can't help but wonder if using it in an elementary classroom for an engaging math activity would actually be beneficial for student learning or if it is just another fun distraction that serves to do nothing more than use up valuable time entertaining students.

Change... is what it is. It happens all the time. We have to make a decision. Roll with it, or try to push back against it? Which is likely to have the better result?
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