E-Learning | News

Kno Advance Lets Publishers Convert Flat PDF Files into Interactive Textbooks

Education software company Kno has debuted Advance, a new platform that can convert PDFs and other flat document files into interactive electronic textbooks at no cost.

Kno is primarily known for its Kno Textbook platform, which offers access to a catalog of 200,000 electronic textbooks from major textbook publishers, including Cengage Learning,
Wiley, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, among many others (currently more than 80). Textbooks are available for both K-12 and higher education, and the platform is accessible through the Web or through platform-specific applications, which support Android, iOS, and Windows.

Advance, which the company is calling an "interactive learning platform," comprises three individual components designed to help publishers quickly convert their documents to interactive textbooks, then enhance those textbooks with additional functionality.

The first component, Kno Ingest, is a system that allows for the high-volume conversion of flat files into interactive books. According to the company, "publishers can submit a flat file and Kno will transform it into an interactive eBook with dozens of features in minutes. This seamless on-boarding process brings content and meta-content to life and can bring hundreds of thousands of titles to market within days."

The second component, Kno Book Enhancer, provides tools that allow publishers both to enhance their books' existing functionality and to update materials when new information becomes available. Changes are pushed out live to the entire installed base for any given book.

Tools available through Kno Book Enhancer include 3D objects, video, basic links, audio, calculators, and simulations. New elements can be added "in less than a minute," according to Kno.

The third component is Kno Assessment, which allows publishers to make exercises, quizzes, and end-of-chapter review materials interactive. Kno Assessment supports multiple question types and allows publishers to create new questions or import existing questions from their own question banks. It also supports hints and has features to support remediation, according to Kno. Scores are captured by the system and made available to students through the Kno Me dashboard feature.

Kno Advance is being used currently by both K-12 and higher education textbook publishers.

"Working with Kno, the process of converting our print titles to highly interactive eBooks has been seamless," said Kurt Strand, chief product officer of McGraw-Hill Higher Education, in a prepared statement. "Now, using Kno's Book Enhancer, we are able to enhance or update our eBooks virtually instantly. The process of defining interactivity is literally the same as creating it with Kno."

"Using Kno's Book Enhancer gives us better digital tools and capabilities than many large publishing houses," said Greg Greul, president of Wayside Publishing, also in a prepared statement. "The ease of use, speed, and lack of additional costs enables us to keep our AP programs for English, History, and World Language programs compelling and up to date for students."

Additional details are available on Kno's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .