I’m an unabashed fan of everything Kobo does. I’ve long held that Kobo gets ereading better than anyone else—even that other book seller based in Seattle—and their recent Kobo Pulse announcement shows that they are on the same, solid track as always. By connecting the Kobo app with Facebook and your Facebook friends, Kobo brings the experience of reading a book with a group of friends in a book club to every page of your book. Creepy? Maybe (you can turn it off), but I think the capability in the app is going to set the stage for more collaboration—think classrooms people—in the future.
I first saw this on Mashable and I thought at first blush, “oh cool another smart feature from Kobo”, but reading the Mashable post and then Kobo’s own post open my eyes to what I think Kobo is really on to here. Sure, connecting with Facebook creeps my out a little, but I’m willing to ignore that for the potential of being able to share the experience of reading a book with other people—ostensibly my friends. However, that’s just the most boring implementation of Kobo Pulse. The exciting stuff will come when it can be applied to the classroom.
Book clubs are fun, but come on folks, book clubs are more leisure activities. If you miss something for book club you don’t flunk. On the other hand, reading in class…
Since we’re starting to see evidence that tablets (in this case iPads specifically) help kids learn better, what if kids were given Kobo-powered tablets for their text books and with a school-friendly version of Kobo Pulse allow teachers and students to connect together in a whole new way? That makes things interesting and exciting. Not to mention all of these things support my stance that 2011 is the breakout school year for tablets in class.
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