This past January at CES we had a chance to sit down with the guys from Kno, who at that time were in the final stages of testing their dual screen student-centric tablet. To quote myself, “For now, we’re impressed with Kno’s reader application and student focused mindset, however we suspect the large, clumsy hardware will leave college students looking to alternative solutions.” It came as no suprise when shortly after our hands-on look with the device, Kno announced they were scraping the hardware in favour of an iPad soloution. With Apple’s iPad sales on the rise, it only made sense.

Here’s where things get interesting, Kno has just announced that they are bringing the Kno eTextbook store the web and Facebook. No, that’s not a typo, you can now buy and read eTextbooks right in Facebook. I’m still scratching my head at this bold direction Kno has taken. Here’s an excerpt from the Kno Blog explaining the reasoning behind the move,

“… it’s where students are spending a majority of their time outside the classroom – 3 hours per day on Facebook alone. 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 every day life. 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.”

I agree with the idea that bringing a social component to textbooks could be benefical, however I don’t think Facebook, the King of Time Wasters, is the way to do it.

The Kno Facebook app is in open beta for the time being, students are free to signin using their Kno accounts. A word of caution though, the application isn’t much more than a glorified portal to the Kno Web application. I suspect that will change by the the time the app is launched.

Question of the day: Do you think you’d be able to read a textbook on Facebook for more than 10 minutes without venturing over to a friend’s profile?