Kno's tablet textbooks have only ever been available to the college crowd; the younger among us have typically had to get a comprehensive digital education from either the tablet maker's own solution, like Apple's iBooks 2, or less-than-integrated options. A new deal for K-12 books is giving the students, if not necessarily the teachers, a fresh alternative. Parents can now rent books for home studying at prices under $10 per title. They're not state-specific books, but their Common Core roots will keep learners on the same (virtual) page as classmates while adding Kno's usual 3D, links, notes and videos. Just to sweeten the pot further, Kno says its current catalog centers around a pact with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt -- a publisher that hasn't offered K-12 books on any tablet platform until now, according to Kno. The initial focus is on iPad, web and Windows 7 readers, although Android-loving parents looking for that at-home edge will have to wait until sometime "soon" to leap in.
Update: Although we were told otherwise at first, it's not true that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has never offered K-12 books on a tablet before: we've since learned that the publisher posted Social Studies textbooks for the iPad in May. The Kno deal is still significant as a rare cross-platform offering.
Kno K-12 textbooks
KNO LAUNCHES K-12 DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS, EMPOWERING PARENTS TO GO DIGITAL AT HOME
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Kno Partner to Introduce Enhanced K-12
Content at Introductory Rental Prices From $9.99 or Less
Santa Clara, CA – August 7, 2012 – Kno, a pioneer in education
software, today announced that the company is entering the K-12
education market through a new partnership agreement with global
education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [HMH]. Previously only
available to college students, Kno will offer interactive K-12
textbooks for the iPad, the Web, Android and Windows 7.
The agreement marks a turning point for elementary and secondary
education by giving children and parents the resources and power to
supplement classroom learning through enhanced digital content at
home. Just in time for the back-to-school season, parents can now rent
digital textbooks for their children, including subjects aligned with
Common Core standards, for a one-year rental rate of $9.99 or less per
"Even if the schools have not adopted digital textbooks, we wanted to
give parents the option to have their kids' same textbooks available
at home," said Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder of Kno, Inc. "With
digital books priced at $9.99 or below, parents can now finally stop
their kids from carrying their heavy backpacks to and from school for
less than $60 for the school year by supplementing classroom materials
with interactive textbooks that can be used at home and on the go."
The Kno digital textbook app is available today for the iPad and Web
and will be available for Android tablets and Windows 7 in time for
back to school. With Kno's app, parents can enhance their children's
learning experience with more than 70 interactive features that bring
academic content to life, making learning more engaging and fun. All
of the app's features are engineered to help students retain
information more easily and ultimately help improve their grades and
comprehension of material.
"By offering digital access to enhanced K-12 content on the go and at
home, this collaboration will empower parents to get more involved in
their children's education. We know parental involvement is an
important factor in student achievement, and we're proud to be the
first content provider to bring Kno's technology to the K-12 world,"
said Tim Cannon, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Alliances
for HMH. "HMH aims to make quality content available to the widest
possible audience with the mission of changing people's lives by
fostering passionate, curious learners. This partnership with Kno
supports that goal."
The interactive features that allow students to engage with the
content better and study more efficiently include:
* A digital Journal that automatically saves a student's notes and
highlights them in a study notebook.
* Automatic Flash Cards of key terms in a book to help students study
more efficiently and better retain information.
* 3D models that bring difficult chemistry concepts to life to make them
easier to understand.
* Quiz Me feature, which automatically turns any diagram in a book into
a multiple choice quiz for easy self-quizzing before tests.
* SmartLinks that deliver instructional videos, images, and photos to
formulas and concepts in a textbook in real-time for easy reference.
* Coming soon, an analytics feature that will enable active engagement
between parents and students to better measure reading progress.