updated 02:30 am EDT, Wed August 31, 2011
Discounted e-textbooks catching on
Originally envisaged -- and briefly realized -- as a hardware project, the team behind Kno have found success with an app called Textbooks (free) that has found an audience among college-bound students seeking discounts over traditional textbooks, TechCrunch reports. Kno now offers over 100,000 titles as part of its own online store, which is also accessible on the web and through Facebook.
The app is currently number one in popularity in the Education category on the App Store, with a new copy being downloaded every eight seconds. It's strongest selling point is that digital editions of textbooks are often 30-50 percent off the price of a printed copy. Textbooks downloaded from the Kno bookstore can be annotated and highlighted. New features that were recently added, such as activity streams, photo notes and automated quizzes have helped increase Kno's offerings with students.
According to the report, the colleges with the most Kno customers are University of Arizona, Arizona State University, UT Austin and Harvard. Students can share social information with "study buddies" and ask questions or post comments on textbooks with other Kno users. The program is in wide use across college campuses, but the question remains if students will re-enlist for future textbooks as the semesters roll by.