Kno And 20MM Working On Web 2.0 Enhanced Open Source eTextbooks

I’m surprised that it took me a few weeks to hear about this GREAT news coming out of Sacramento, California. As we’ve discussed a few times before, Kno is an educational software company that is truly “walking the walk” in terms of getting interactive online educational material in the hands of as many teachers and students as possible. Lately, a lot of the major “traditional” textbook publishers out there seem to doing a lot of “talking” in terms of recognizing the “digital direction” ahead. These huge publishers, while acknowledging that they have plans to embark on a journey in this new “digital direction”, haven’t actually done much else to help their troubled and struggling market. Of course, this “delay in action” also reflects the larger profit-model problem within the textbook industry as a whole, and the blame should certainly not be thrown SOLELY on the textbook companies, but the entire textbook publishing model as a whole.

Many of these big name textbook companies are clearly at work figuring out their obviously evolving monetization and profitability models…BEFORE concerning themselves with the ever-increasing demand from today’s students and instructors for online interactive educational materials to essentially replace one-dimensional printed textbooks of the past. The thing is, can anyone really blame them? These publishing companies are trying to stay afloat in this terrible economy, all the while they’re trying to navigate through an outdated educational/profit business model in order to satisfy their main demographic. It surely cannot be easy, and in my opinion, it provides a solid illustration of the popular phrase “Easier said than done.”

The 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM) is backed by some SERIOUS big name players and funding (the Hewlett and Gates Foundation just to name a few), but they needed a basic or standard online educational platform/distribution system to reach and assist their main demographic: college students. This is where Kno comes into play. So, Kno brings the technical talents and 20MM brings the funding, open content connections, and a stated goal of producing open source eTextbooks for the top 25 undergraduate courses. Needless to say, they’ve got us pretty excited to see what the future holds here at!

Kno Course Manager

This unique educational partnership has developed and distributed their first open source, Web 2.0-enhanced eTextbook of what will hopefully be AT LEAST 25 total eTextbooks for the most common and popular undergraduate courses in the United States: Collaborative Statistics, Enhanced Digital – 2nd Edition, ISBN: 9780983804901. College students would normally pay around $150 for their traditional printed General Statistics textbook, but through Kno and 20MM students will only be looking at paying around $20 for access to their online, open source, interactive, Web 2.0 enhanced content in the very near future. In fact, the Collaborative Statistics launch title is available FREE for students and instructors interested in taking a closer look at what these new, open source, web 2.0-enhanced eTextbooks. If you are going to be taking a General Statistics course, maybe you can convince your Professor to use this eTextbook at your school!

In my opinion, it will be VERY interesting to see what other forward-thinking education-based companies like Cengage Learning and Aplia have planned for the near future in terms of online interactive educational material as well, as it is unlikely they are just “waiting around”.


You Can Check Out The Collaborative Statistics eTextbook For FREE Here:

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