UPDATE: Tim Carmody from The Verge adds some background to the McGraw-Hill announcement.
At the Consumer Electronics Show Monday night McGraw-Hill Education, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, will demonstrate its new adaptive e-book for students dubbed “SmartBook,” which promises to “break the centuries-old tradition of books as linear experience.”
The SmartBook (not to be confused with the ill-fated mobile devices with the same name that were promoted a few years ago at CES) works like this: All readers essentially see the same textbook as they read for the first five minutes. But as a reader answers review questions placed throughout the chapter, different passages become highlighted to point the reader to where he or she should focus attention.
The e-book will initially work on computers, as well as tablets using Apple and Android operating systems. It will have full functionality both online and offline.
The company pulls from an “enormous database” of student behavior models that drive the software to chart the most efficient path to learning a subject area, Mr. Christensen said. “Everything that you do is being tracked and it assesses you throughout” the questions and answers in each chapter, he said.
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