1.Can Digital Textbook Truly Replace the Print Kind?
The shortcomings of traditional print edition textbooks are obvious: For starters they’re heavy, with the average physics textbook weighing 3.6 pounds. They’re also expensive, especially when you factor in the average college student’s limited budget, typically costing hundreds of dollars every semester.
But the worst part is that print version of textbooks are constantly undergoing revisions. Many professors require that their students use only the latest versions in the classroom, essentially rendering older texts unusable. For students, it means they’re basically stuck with a four pound paper-weight that they can’t sell back.
Which is why digital textbooks, if they live up to their promise, could help ease many of these shortcomings. But till now, they’ve been something like a mirage（幻影）in the distance, more like a hazy（模煳的）dream than an actual reality. Imagine the promise: Carrying all your textbooks in a 1.3 pound iPad? It sounds almost too good to be true.
But there are a few pilot schools already making the transition（过渡）over to digital books. Universities like Cornell and Brown have jumped onboard. And one medical program at the University of California, Irvine, gave their entire class iPads with which to download textbooks just last year.
But not all were eager to jump aboard.
“People were tired of using the iPad textbook besides using it for reading,” says Kalpit Shah, who will be going into his second year at Irvine’s medical program this fall. “They weren’t using it as a source of communication because they couldn’t read or write in it. So a third of the people in my program were using the iPad in class to take notes, the other third were using laptops and the last third were using paper and pencil.”
The reason it hasn’t caught on yet, he tells me, is that the functionality of e-edition textbooks is incredibly limited, and some students just aren’t motivated to learn new study behavior.
But a new application called Inkling might change all that. The company just released an updated version last week, and it’ll be utilized in over 50 undergraduate and graduate classrooms this coming school year.
“Digital textbooks are not going to catch on,” says Inkling CEO Matt Maclnnis as he’s giving me a demo（演示）over coffee. “What I mean by that is the current perspective of the digital textbook is it’s an exact copy of the print book. There’s Course Smart, etc., these guys who take any image of the page and put it on a screen. If that’s how we’re defining digital textbooks, there’s no hope of that becoming a mainstream product.”
He calls Inkling a platform for publishers to build rich multimedia content from the ground up, with a heavy emphasis on real-world functionality. The traditional textbook merely serves as a skeleton.
At first glance Inkling is an impressive experience. After swiping（敲击）into the iPad app (应用软件 ), which you can get for free here, he opens up a few different types of textbooks.
Up first is a chemistry book. The boot time is pretty fast, and he navigates through (浏览 ) a few chapters before swiping into a fully rendered 3D molecule that can be spun around to view its various building blocks. “Publishers give us all of the source media, artwork, videos,” he says, “We help them think through how to actually build something for this platform.”
Next he pulls up a music composition textbook, complete with playable demos. It’s a learning experience that attacks you from multiple sensory directions. It’s clear why this would be something a music major would love.
But the most exciting part about Inkling, to me, is its notation（批注）system. Here’s how it works!
When you purchase a used print book, it comes with its previous owner’s highlights and notes in the margins. It uses the experience of someone who already went through the class to help improve your reading (how much you trust each notation is obviously up to you).
But with lnkling, you can highlight a piece of content and make notes. Here’s where things get interesting, though: If a particularly important passage is highlighted by multiple lnkling users, that information is stored on the cloud and is available for anyone reading the same textbook to come across. That means users have access to notes from not only their classmates and Facebook friends, but anyone who purchased the book across the country. The best comments are then sorted democratically by a voting system, meaning that your social learning experience is shared with the best and brightest thinkers.
As a bonus, professors can even chime in (插话 ) on discussions. They’ll be able to answer the questions of students who are in their class directly via the interactive book.
Of course, Inkling addresses several of the other shortcomings in traditional print as well. Textbook versions are constanly updated, motivating publishers by minimizing production costs (the big ones like McGraw-Hill are already onboarD. Furthermore, students will be able to purchase sections of the text instead of buying the whole thing, with individual chapters costing as little as $2.99.
There are, however, challenges.
“It takes efforts to build each book,” Maclnnis tells me. And it’s clear why.
Each interactive textbook is a media-heavy experience built from the ground up, and you can tell that it takes a respectable amount of manpower to put together each one.
For now the app is also iPad-exclusive, and though a few of these educational institutions are giving the hardware away for free, for other students who don’t have such a luxury it’s an added layer of cost — and an expensive one at that.
But this much is clear. The traditional textbook model is and has been broken for quite some time. Whether digitally interactive ones like Inkling actually take off or not remains to be seen, and we probably won’t have a definite answer for the next few years.
However the solution to any problem begins with a step in a direction. And at least for now, that hazy mirage in the distance? A little more tangible (可触摸的 ), a little less of a dream.
【題組】1.The biggest problem with traditional print textbooks is that _____.
(A)they are not reused once a new edition comes out
(B)they cost hundreds of dollars every semester
(C) they are too heavy to carry around
(D) they take a longer time to revise
2.【題組】2. What does the author say about digital textbooks?
(A)It’s not likely they will replace traditional textbooks.
(B)They haven’t fixed all the shortcomings of print books.
(C) Very few of them are available in the market.
(D) Many people still have difficulty using them.
3.【題組】3. According to Kalpit Shah, some students still use paper and pencil because _____.
(A)they find it troublesome to take notes with an iPad
(B)they are unwilling to change their study behavior
(C) they have get tired of reading on the iPad
(D) they are not used to reading on the screen
4.【題組】4. Inkling CEO Matt Maclnnis explains that the problem with Course Smart’s current digital textbooks is that _____.
(A)they have to be revised repeatedly
(B)they are inconvenient to use in class
(C) they are different from most mainstream products
(D) they are no more than print versions put on a screen
5.【題組】5. Matt Maclnnis describes the updated version of lnkling as _____.
(A)a good example of the mainstream products
(B)a marvelous product of many creative ideas
(C) a platform for building multimedia content
(D) a mere skeleton of traditional textbooks
6.【題組】6. The author is most excited about lnkling’s notation system because one can _____.
(A)share his learning experience with the best and brightest thinkers
(B)participate in discussions with classmates and Facebook friends
(C) vote for the best learners democratically
(D) store information on the cloud
7.【題組】7. One additional advantage of the interactive digital textbook is that _____.
(A)students can switch to different discussions at any point
(B)students can download relevant critical comments
(C) professors can join in students’ online discussions
(D) professors can give prompt feedback to students’ homework
8.Junk food is everywhere. We’re eating way too much of it. Most of us know what we’re doing and yet we do it anyway.
So here’s a suggestion offered by two researchers at the Rand Corporation: Why not take a lesson from alcohol control policies and apply them to where food is sold and how it’s displayed?
“Many policy measures to control obesity（肥胖症）assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods,” note the two researchers.
“In contrast,” the researchers continue, “many regulations that don’t assume people make rational choices have been successfully applied to control alcohol, a substance — like food — of which immoderate consumption leads to serious health problems.”
The research references studies of people’s behavior with food and alcohol and results of alcohol restrictions, and then lists five regulations that the researchers think might be promising if applied to junk foods. Among them:
Density restrictions: licenses to sell alcohol aren’t handed out unplanned to all comers but are allotted（分配）based on the number of places in an area that already sell alcohol. These make alcohol less easy to get and reduce the number of psychological cues to drink.
Similarly, the researchers say, being presented with junk food stimulates our desire to eat it. So why not limit the density of food outlets, particularly ones that sell food rich in empty calories? And why not limit sale of food in places that aren’t primarily food stores?
Display and sales restrictions: California has a rule prohibiting alcohol displays near the cash registers in gas stations, and in most places you can’t buy alcohol at drive-through facilities. At supermarkets, food companies pay to have their wares in places where they’re easily seen. One could remove junk food to the back of the store and ban them from the shelves at checkout lines. The other measures include restricting portion sizes, taxing and prohibiting special price deals for junk foods, and placing warning labels on the products.
What does the author say about junk food?
(A)People should be educated not to eat too much.
(B)It is widely consumed despite its ill reputation.
(C) Its temptation is too strong for people to resist.
(D) It causes more harm than is generally realized.
9.【題組】58. What do the Rand researchers think of many of the policy measures to control obesity?
(A)They should be implemented effectively.
(B)They provide misleading information.
(C) They are based on wrong assumptions.
(D) They help people make rational choices.
10.【題組】59. Why do policymakers of alcohol control place density restrictions?
(A)Few people are able to resist alcohol’s temptations.
(B)There are already too many stores selling alcohol.
(C) Drinking strong alcohol can cause social problems.
(D) Easy access leads to customers’ over-consumption.
11.【題組】60. What is the purpose of California’s rule about alcohol display in gas stations?
(A)To effectively limit the density of alcohol outlets.
(B)To help drivers to give up the habit of drinking.
(C) To prevent possible traffic jams in nearby areas.
(D) To get alcohol out of drivers’ immediate sight.
12.【題組】61. What is the general guideline the Rand researchers suggest about junk food control?
(A)Guiding people to make rational choices about food.
(B)Enhancing people’s awareness of their own health.
(C) Borrowing ideas from alcohol control measures.
(D) Resorting to economic, legal and psychological means.
13.Kodak’s decision to file for bankruptcy（破产）protection is a sad, though not unexpected, turning point for a leading American corporation that pioneered consumer photography and dominated the film market for decades, but ultimately failed to adapt to the digital revolution.
Although many attribute Kodak’s downfall to “complacency(自满) ,” that explanation doesn’t acknow-ledge the lengths to which the company went to reinvent itself. Decades ago, Kodak anticipated that digital photography would overtake film — and in fact, Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975 — but in a fateful decision, the company chose to shelf its new discovery to focus on its traditional film business.
It wasn’t that Kodak was blind to the future, said Rebecca Henderson, a professor at Harvard Business School, but rather that it failed to execute on a strategy to confront it. By the time the company realized its mistake, it was too late.
Kodak is an example of a firm that was very much aware that they had to adapt, and spent a lot of money trying to do so, but ultimately failed. Large companies have a difficult time switching into new markets because there is a temptation to put existing assets into the new businesses.
Although Kodak anticipated the inevitable rise of digital photography, its corporate（企业的） culture was too rooted in the successes of the past for it to make the clean break necessary to fully embrace the future. They were a company stuck in time. Their history was so important to them. Now their history has become a liability.
Kodak’s downfall over the last several decades was dramatic. In 1976, the company commanded 90% of the market for photographic film and 85% of the market for cameras. But the 1980s brought new competition from Japanese film company Fuji Photo, which undermined Kodak by offering lower prices for film and photo supplies. Kodak’s decision not to pursue the role of official film for the 198 4 Los Angeles Olympics was a major miscalculation. The bid went instead to Fuji, which exploited its sponsorship to win a permanent foothold in the marketplace.
What do we learn about Kodak?
(A)It went bankrupt all of a sudden.
(B)It is approaching its downfall.
(C) It initiated the digital revolution in the film industry.
(D) It is playing a dominant role in the film market.
14.【題組】63. Why does the author mention Kodak’s invention of the first digital camera?
(A)To show its early attempt to reinvent itself.
(B)To show its effort to overcome complacency.
(C) To show its quick adaptation to the digital revolution.
(D) To show its will to compete with Japan’s Fuji photo.
15.【題組】64. Why do large companies have difficulty switching to new markets?
(A)They find it costly to give up their existing assets.
(B)They tend to be slow in confronting new challenges.
(C) They are unwilling to invest in new technology.
(D) They are deeply stuck in their glorious past.
17.【題組】66. What was Kodak’s fatal mistake?
(A)Its blind faith in traditional photography.
(B)Its failure to see Fuji photo’s emergence.
(C) Its refusal to sponsor the 1984 Olympics.
(D) Its overconfidence in its corporate culture.
18.Whether you think you need daytime rest or not, picking up a nap（午睡）habit is a smart, healthy move. The Mayo Clinic says naps 67 relaxation, better mood and alertness, and a sharper working 68 . A 2008 British study found that compared to getting more nighttime sleep, a mid-day nap was the best way to cope 69 the mid-afternoon sleepiness.
According to the Harvard Health Letter, several studies have shown that people 70 new information better when they take a nap shortly after learning it. And, most 71 , a 2007 study of nearly 24,000 Greek adults in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who napped 72 had a 37 percent reduced risk of dying 73 heart disease compared to people who didn’t nap.
Of course, napping isn’t 74 for everyone. If you’re suffering from inability to sleep, naps that are too long or taken too late in the day can 75 with your ability to fall or stay asleep at night.
But for most, naps can make you feel sharper and happier. Naps provide different benefits 76 on how long they are. A 20-minute nap will boost alertness and concentration; a 90-minute snooze（小睡）can 77 creativity.
According to prevention.com, you 78 a natural dip in body temperature 79 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. A short nap at this time can boost alertness 80 several hours and, for most people, shouldn’t 81 being able to fall asleep at night.
Pick a dark, cozy place that’s not too warm or too chilly. prevention.com 82 snapping on the couch instead of in bed, so you’re less 83 to snooze for too long.
Surprisingly, the best place to take a nap may be a hammock（吊床）if you have one. A Swiss study 84 last year found that people fell asleep faster and had deeper sleep when they napped in a hammock than in a bed. That same rocking 85 that puts babies to sleep works 86 for grown-ups, too.