Textbook Developer Adds YouTube Videos to E-Books

A set of educational videos made by a nonacademic in his bedroom closet are now part of a line of college e-textbooks.

The upstart textbook publisher Kno Inc. announced on Friday that its digital textbooks will incorporate links to videos by Khan Academy, a nonprofit video library that grew out of Salman Khan’s popular instructional Youtube videos (produced in his home “studio”). That collection has grown to more than 2,400 free videos online, featuring Mr. Khan’s voice with accompanying notations on a digital blackboard.

When students click or tap on Kno’s new “Smart Links” feature, they will be directed to a playlist of relevant videos from Khan Academy that have been embedded into an individual page or chapter of a book. The feature is the latest in a series of efforts by the company to engage digital readers with what it calls “added value.”

Ousama Haffar, vice president for marketing at Kno, said joining with Khan Academy was a “natural solution” for students who were already scouring the Web for extra help in subjects like calculus or physics. He said Kno was also working to add other supplemental content, such as educational Web links and photos from other sources.

“Smart Links” is in beta on 100 or so books, but Kno plans to extend the feature to thousands of titles in coming months.

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