【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. initiative / ɪˈnɪʃ i ə tɪv / (n.) – a program that will help achieve a specific target
Example: The mobile library was an initiative done to encourage people to read.
2. access /ˈæk sɛs / (n.) – the permission to use something
Example: I don’t have access to the library’s database.
3. broadband / ˈbrɔdˌbænd / (n.) – an electronic network that carries Internet signals
Example: The school has high-speed broadband.
4. comprehend / ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛnd / (v.) – to understand the meaning of something
Example: Michael could not comprehend what he read.
5. disrupt / dɪsˈrʌpt / (v.) – to cause interruption
Example: Angela came and disrupted Amy’s reading time.
Read the text below.
President Barack Obama has launched an initiative that will provide e-books to students from low-income families.
With this initiative, low-income students will receive $250 million worth of free e-books from major book publishers. Using the technology developed by the New York Public library, students will have access to various e-books that will be useful in studying. This idea came at a time when more schools and libraries in poor communities have gained access to the Internet.
This initiative is linked with Obama’s ConnectEd program. This two-year-old program aims to improve education by making broadband Internet more accessible. By 2018, the program specifically targets to provide Internet access to 99% of American students.
The ConnectEd program started in June 2013. Since then, it has received more than $2 billion from private companies to help achieve its target. Among them are Apple, AT&T, Adobe, Microsoft, Verizon, Prezi, Sprint, and Autodesk.
Providing e-books is convenient for students. However, using e-books also has disadvantages. According to professors from West Chester University, students who used e-books were able to comprehend less than those who used printed books. Another professor from Temple University said that e-books are prone to technical problems, which may disrupt class discussions. Since reading e-books entails the use of technological devices, students can also get distracted by other things on the Internet.
Despite these disadvantages, some students still prefer e-books to printed books, as e-books are cheaper and easier to carry.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you think this initiative will also be useful and feasible in your country? Why or why not?
· Do you agree that making the Internet accessible is needed to improve education? Why is that so?
· Apart from those mentioned, what can be the other disadvantages of using e-books?
· In your opinion, will e-books completely replace printed books in the future? Please explain your answer.