Textbooks are coming to students’ Facebook news feeds

By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor
August 16th, 2011

Seven in 10 students say they would be likely to use a Facebok app that might improve their grades.

In between commenting on photos, posting videos, and updating statuses, college students will be able to read textbooks, study with classmates, and post questions on Facebook after a California-based digital textbook company released its eBooks to the world’s most popular social network.

Kno, an educational software company that grabbed the attention of campus technologists in July with the release of a controversial eBook survey, announced Aug. 10 that it would make more than 100,000 digital textbooks readable via Facebook.

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Using Kno’s Facebook application–in open beta for now–students will be able to access a reading assignment and use their Facebook news feed to pose questions to fellow students, teaching assistants, and professors.

While student Facebook use is considered ubiquitous in many corners of higher education, Kno released survey results to reinforce what faculty members know all too well: Facebook is an ingrained part of everyday life for teenagers and twenty-somethings.

Students in the Kno research spent an average of three hours a day on the social media site. Nearly seven in 10 respondents said they would be “likely” to use a Facebook app that “might improve their grades.”

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