Obama pushes reading via new technologies (Thinkstock)
Obama pushes reading via new technologies
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Linking reading to technology, the White House has pulled together major book publishers. They will provide more than $250 million in free e-books to low-income students. Commitments are also being sought from local governments and schools across the country to ensure that every student has a library card.

President Barack Obama announced the two initiatives at a Washington library on Thursday, April 30. They are part of his two-year-old program. It is called ConnectEd. The program aims to improve education through digital connectivity.

The offer of e-books comes as low-income households still lag far behind others in computer ownership. But White House officials said libraries and schools in poor communities are increasing access to the Internet. Among the publishers participating in the program are some familiar names. They include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House.

At the same time, Obama will appeal to library directors, local governments and school officials. He would like to see them to work together. The president wants them to provide universal access to library cards. The White House already has commitments from 30 cities and counties. They range from Baltimore to San Francisco and points in between.

Obama's ConnectEd program aims to make broadband Internet access available to 99 percent of American students. The goal is for that to happen by 2018. Already, companies such as Apple have pledged to provide $100 million worth of devices to lower-income schools. That is according to Jeff Zients. He is the director of the White House National Economic Council.

The announcement came after Obama called on Americans to do "some soul searching" in the wake of riots that have shaken minority communities.

"If we're serious about living up to what our country is about, then we have to consider what we can do to provide opportunities in every community. Not just when they're on the front page, but every day," Zients said.

A U.S. Census Bureau study of computer and Internet use issued in November found that in 2013 nearly 84 percent of households reported owning a computer. Among households with incomes under $25,000, however, only 62 percent said they owned a computer.

"They may not be on the grid at home," said Cecilia Munoz, director of Obama's Domestic Policy Council. But they certainly have Internet access at school, she said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why are households with incomes under $25,000 less likely to have a computer?

Assigned 103 times


COMMENTS (34)
  • gerardob-Che
    5/05/2015 - 11:41 a.m.

    i think that this is an amazing thing that Obama is doing this to provide us with stuff that can help us in school and as well as apple to give 100 million dollars.

  • valorgosch
    5/05/2015 - 11:43 a.m.

    President obama gave an address on matters that involve one of the most expansive tools in human history..The internet the president wishes to make it publicly accessible to the american public or to be more specific american school children. The president hopes that this program to provide computers and internet to school age children will be able to do projects and other things with their schools.

  • 21bwmill
    5/05/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    I think it is a good idea...... but obama these days what can I say AMI right or ami right people. the e book thing is a type of reading that i never did tho

  • JackR-5
    5/05/2015 - 12:14 p.m.

    Obama made a plan to give over $250 million in e books to poor communities. This is part of his two-year plan to provide books for poor communities. He wants to incorporate libraries and other campuses to have these advantages. There is many big names that are participating in this. They are trying to get Wi-Fi and other technology items to poor communities. I think that this is a very good plan and will save a lot of time. This will help poor communities get better educated, and get better jobs.

  • PaytonLSilver
    5/05/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    I think this might be cool considering some college students may not be able to afford regular books and having a library full with Nooks and Kindles would be quite helpful, its a device that could help you checkout more than one book. You don't need to buy your own device, just go to the library.

  • ShawnBBlue
    5/05/2015 - 04:48 p.m.

    In my opinion, I don't think that we should use technology to read books because that is why books were invented and the light off of the technology could make your eyesight worse and then you won't be able to read at all!

  • Eriku2
    5/05/2015 - 06:50 p.m.

    This article is about the president of the united states, He is pushing that everyone should be reading. Not just normal reading but reading on tablets.

  • giezc0103
    5/06/2015 - 01:18 p.m.

    I hope that my school gets involved in this so then we can actually learn fro this program I think Obama made a great choice here.

  • ak117-Sch
    5/06/2015 - 09:35 p.m.

    In response to "Obama Pushes Reading Via New Technologies," I agree that people should read off of E-books. One reason I agree is that it is very resource-efficient. What I mean is that with the E-books there will be no need for paper for books, therefore there will be more trees. Some people might disagree and say that the electricity used to power the E-books takes up a lot of resources, but it does not have to. people can use dams and windmills to generate power to charge the E-books. Another reason is that it is a cool way to read. It seems to make sense that most people would rather be on their phones instead of reading a good novel.. But with the E-book, it combines both of them. Most people would probably believe that the E-book would cost to much, but the article says "They will provide more than $250 million in free e-books...". According to the artcile, some people do not have access to the internet for the the E-books to work. They do have access to the internet at school though where most of their reading happens. The E-book has a wide variety of books contray to what most people say. Even though most people are against E-books, I think
    people should start reading with E-books.

  • EthanY-1
    5/07/2015 - 12:30 a.m.

    This article is about Obama pushing to read on devices. He will provide more than $250 million of e books to poor communities. The goal is for this to happen by 2018. Only 62% people said they owned a computer. I think this is cool that Obama is doing this. I want a free e book.

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