Should Tablets Replace Textbooks?: Reading Practice 5 (discussion)

By | September 28, 2015

Publishing for the K-12 school market is an $8 billion industry, with three companies – McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – capturing about 85% of this market. Tablets are a $72 billion industry with 42% of US adults owning a tablet. As tablets have become more prevalent, a new debate has formed over whether K-12 school districts should switch from print textbooks to digital textbooks on tablets and e-readers.

Proponents of tablets say that they are supported by most teachers and students, are much lighter than print textbooks, and improve standardized test scores. They say that tablets can hold hundreds of textbooks, save the environment by lowering the amount of printing, increase student interactivity and creativity, and that digital textbooks are cheaper than print textbooks.

Opponents of tablets say that they are expensive, too distracting for students, easy to break, and costly/time-consuming to fix. They say that tablets contribute to eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision, increase the excuses available for students not doing their homework, require costly Wi-Fi networks, and become quickly outdated as new technologies are released.

Tablets and textbooks have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you choose tablets or textbooks, it is totally your call. Choose the one that best suits you as a student.

1. It is said that textbooks are a big industry because … .
A. it is worth 8 billion dollars
B. they control 85% of the market
C. tablets control 42% of the market
D. it is worth 72 billion dollars
E. It is worth more than tablet industry

2. The text discusses … .
A. the difference between tablet and textbooks
B. advantages and disadvantages of tablets
C. similarities between tablets and textbooks
D. advantages and disadvantages of textbooks
E. the profits tablets and textbooks make

3. One advantage of tablets is that they weigh less than textbooks. This idea can be found in paragraph(s) … .
A. 1
B. 1 and 2
C. 2 & 3
D. 2
E. 3

4. The word proponent in paragraph 2 means … .
A. persons who believe
B. persons who oppose
C. persons who love
D. persons who hate
E. persons who support

5. Another advantage of tablets is that they can hold hundreds of … textbooks, which means saving money.
A. print
B. paper
C. virtual
D. digital
E. online

6. Those who do not agree to replace textbooks with tablets say that tablets … .
A. can cause several types of pain and ache
B. only waste much of your time and money
C. increase students’ standardized test scores
D. diminish students’ passion for reading
E. encourage students to read more and more

7. The word distracting means causing someone to have difficulty … .
A. learning things
B. doing things
C. paying attention
D. doing math
E. calculating

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