Pam Debnam looked in her empty mailbox and sighed. It was past the middle of June and she still had not heard about a teaching job. She had graduated in May, done all the paperwork to get a license to teach middle school mathematics and science, mailed in applications to several school systems, and had even gone on three interviews with principals. She sighed again. She consoled herself by remembering that her professors and teachers she knew from student teaching had told her that many principals can't hire until July 1 or later.
Pam made up her mind to take some action. Waiting for the mailman each day was a good way to get depressed! In her job interviews, the principals had asked how she planned to use technology in her teaching. She thought she could use this time to learn more about teachers using technology in the classroom.
Pam got on the Internet and began searching for education journals at the university library. As an undergraduate she had never had enough time to find out what was available for resources. She made a list of possibilities and wrote down the call numbers and the location of the journals.
Pam thought about a list of keywords to use to search for specific articles. She had not practiced much with databases or spreadsheets and wasn't really sure that middle schoolers could handle either type of software. She wanted to know if any experienced teachers had tried to use these tools in middle school science or math classes. She went to the ERIC web site and tried out her keywords. Fortunately, she found some articles that were from journals available at the university library.