How a Startup Wants to Change Higher Education — What You Need to Kno!

23 thoughts on “How a Startup Wants to Change Higher Education — What You Need to Kno!”

  1. focus focus and focus on education market. Give apple the taste of what it did with NeXT.
    Better yet….give the device for pittance but charge for the eco system – down loads, Cliff notes, problem solutions etc.

  2. This is exactly what online education needs. I am currently in an online MBA program through Penn State and every term, I receive a heavy box of printed textbooks. Silly and painful when I have to travel during the term. I have resorted to cutting out the chapters I need for travel. Online education needs electronic textbooks.

    1. Let’s keep in mind that textbooks are large, awkward, heavy and a waste of paper. Even if this device weighs upwards of 10 lbs it would still be an improvement simply based on the fact that it would (hopefully) replace the need to carry any textbooks at all.

  3. I wonder why they didn’t simply release a “Kno” app for iPad, future Android and Web OS based tablets? What are the benefits of going with their own hardware and take the risk to be swallowed by the big players in the game?

    1. IMHO – It is their big BET on the form factor. A book like device, one display showing the book, the other display with notes…Built in Evernote type functionality will just make this a KILLER DEVICE for the education market.

  4. As a prospective designer/illustrator and all around knowledge nerd, I am really excited about this. I feel humans learn so much more with interactivity and visuals than any other medium and a widespread adoption of this sort of technology in the education system would be an amazing improvement over the absolute boredom instilled through reading a textbook.

    Sure, it’s ambitious to think about the future and would require a huge amount of organization of infrastructure to support mainstream adoption but it can be done. I know that many schools have already tried to implement the use of laptops within the education system but the problem with that approach is that there was no organized effort applied to developing a useful set of tools and content that can be specifically utilized within the education system. If a solid framework of content can be developed for this device that actually facilitates and improves the current system of teaching, then I cannot see how this would fail in overtaking the completely archaic and overpriced textbook industry.

    The hard part? Getting people to see past the status-quo instead of instantly condemning an idea to “it will never work”.

    1. i couldnt agree more. i am a student studying a bachelor of mechanical engineering. A course that in itself deals with moving parts, fluids in a 3d environment in almost all problems. it would be so amazing to see the problems come to life.
      i feel this is only just the beginning of the digital era for education. i cant wait!!

  5. As a prospective designer/illustrator and all around knowledge nerd, I am really excited about this. I feel humans learn so much more with interactivity and visuals than any other medium and a widespread adoption of this sort of technology in the education system would be an amazing improvement over the absolute boredom instilled through reading a textbook. I can’t wait for opportunities to develop new ways of learning that would actually foster an interest in learning.

    Sure, it’s ambitious to think about the future and would require a huge amount of organization of infrastructure to support mainstream adoption but it can be done. I know that many schools have already tried to implement the use of laptops within the education system but the problem with that approach is that there was no organized effort applied to developing a useful set of tools and content that can be specifically utilized within the education system. If a solid framework of content can be developed for this device that actually facilitates and improves the current system of teaching, then I cannot see how this would fail in overtaking the completely archaic and overpriced textbook industry.

    The hard part? Getting people to see past the status-quo instead of instantly condemning an idea to “it will never work”.

  6. Given the results of recent Kindle university trials, there may be a way to go still. Of course, the Kindle’s e-ink display technology wasn’t really up to the task of non-liner information retrieval employed with textbooks.

    But there’s a tougher nut to crack and as usual it isn’t technological in nature: the cozy relationship enjoyed by professors, universities, and publishers. Textbooks, especially at the college level, are expensive. The usual reasons given are low runs and frequent updates, reasons which a tablet of some kind could address. However, there’s more to the story.

    Professors are often “rewarded” for selecting a particular publisher’s text. One of the most coveted is an implied guarantee to publish a textbook written by the former. Universities make good money from campus bookstores and go as far as to require textbooks for courses that don’t really need them. Publishers for their part often make it difficult for off-campus competition to obtain the books that they need. A tablet that cold function well in the school and classroom environment would rip the facade off these relations.

    Don’t expect publishers, universities, or even state textbook boards to forgo the gravy train without throwing up roadblocks. Good ideas often fail because they threaten an entrenched status quo.

  7. I am currently in university in the UK. once I’m done next year I planned to do something similar to this. I wish them luck. Digital content delivery is definitely the future!

  8. This makes perfect sense, just on the textbook front. To enhance it such that it can be the only device students and educators can use to share (provide/receive) homework assignments can be vital. The added functionality will give it a “Leg Up”.

    One thing that they have overlooked is that if they can get this adopted at the College/University level (at a minimum), we will have a generation who will have been introduced to this process almost exclusively and actually be the “Market Pushers”.

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