“Students interact differently in the digital medium and our goal is to help students easily extract the pertinent information for their classes,” said Osman Rashid, Kno’s CEO and co-founder. “While it may seem like a radical concept to bring textbooks to Facebook, we see a real shift occurring among students, where learning is getting embedded with social aspects of their everyday life.”
Osman continued: “The problem, however, is that social networks themselves have historically lacked a way for students to engage in learning and collaboration in a meaningful way–we hope to change that.”
Sixty-two percent of students interviewed by Kno said they would study more if they could “access their textbooks from anywhere without having to lug them around.”
More than 19 million students worldwide have a Kno account, according to the company’s official blog.
Student Campaign, a blog that frequently evaluates technology use in higher education, said mixing academics with perusing news feeds could be incompatible for students.
“I agree with the idea that bringing a social component to textbooks could be beneficial, however I don’t think Facebook, the king of time wasters, is the way to do it,” the blog said, adding that the Kno app “isn’t much more than a glorified portal to the Kno web application.”
Bringing academia to social media sites is nothing new–professors have incorporated Facebook interaction into their courses for years–but social media research collected over the past couple years has shown that Facebook and studying can be an academically toxic combination, lowering grades by up to 20 percent.