E-textbook provider Kno has not let getting out of the tablet business slow it down. (Indeed, given the lackluster performance of any tablet not made by Apple or Amazon lately, it was probably the wisest move it could have made.) CNet has a report from CES on some new features Kno has been adding to its e-textbooks.

The features include metrics built into the textbooks that will track things like the time students spend reading, notes they’ve taken, and study habits. It will let them compare their own study habits to those of others, and let professors see how they’re using the texts. It also includes a feature that allows students to create their own flashcards on the fly and sync them to a cloud-based note-taking journal.

I wonder how I would have felt back in college if I knew the professors could see how much I was or wasn’t reading my textbook? On the one hand, it feels like a little bit of a privacy violation. On the other, it helps the professors do their jobs, which is to give students the education they’re paying for.

The CNet article also notes that Kno uses DRM on its e-textbooks, but uses the Marlin open DRM standard rather than something closed and proprietary. The books can be read on web browsers or via an iPad app, and an Android app will be coming within the month.


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