Starting Wednesday, startup Ginkgotree lets you build your own textbook from anything
CEO of Ann Arbor, MI based bootstrapped startup Ginkgotree Scott Hasbrouck and the rest of his 4 person team spent 6 months talking with professors about textbooks. Scott says as a result of these conversations, they determined all of their grievances boiled down to 5 main issues with the current state of the industry:
1. Textbooks cost way too much (duh?)
2. Most profs never find their “dream” textbook, and end up skipping all over the place in a single book to teach a class
3. Largely because of reason 2, most courses only use a fraction of the textbook
4. Even eTextbooks are disconnected from awesome, public domain content online… Khan academy, etc.
5. They’re still made of dead trees
As a result, Gingkotree set out to make an easy way to build a sharable, online textbook from anything; and that they did. Tomorrow, Gingkotree launches an app that, through an agreement with the Copyright Clearance Center and a book scanning company in Ferndale, MI, makes it easy to take a stack of books and turn them into a course pack online.
According to information from the company, “You select a book, search for it’s pre-arranged license agreement, and select the pages you want to use. When you’re finished, you mail the books to us, we scan them and put them in your course pack, and mail the book back. In addition to books, you can add anything you find online or files you have on hand, a video, sound, word DOC, PDF, etc. The service is free for educators, and costs students $10/month plus any copyright fees. The average professor we talk with plans on only using about 100 pages of text, and at about $.15 per page, students will pay far less than the average textbook.”
Check out some screenshots before tomorrow’s launch:
Again, the service doesn’t launch until tomorrow but for now you can signup for an instructor account pre-launch at: http://app.ginkgotree.com