McGraw Hill changes the textbook game with Sharpen app
The Future. Textbook giant McGraw Hill is tapping into the addictive short-form video trend of TikTok for its new learning app, Sharpen. The hope is that students will turn to Sharpen instead of TikTok and YouTube, which can be ripe with misinformation. But McGraw Hill may also need to import some of the social engagement that fuels these apps if it hopes to replace them as a study source.
McGraw Hill knows it needs a new way to engage the TikTok generation.
- Forbes reports that the 134-year-old company released an app called Sharpen, which “walks students through textbook material using bite-sized, entertaining videos that play in rapid succession” …like TikTok.
- Every eight minutes, the videos are “interspersed” with short, gamified quizzes that reward users who complete them with “Duolingo-like congratulatory screens.”
- The new app doesn’t necessarily coincide with any specific pages of a McGraw Hill textbook and is “designed to be helpful for all students regardless of which book they use.”
The app is currently free on the App Store and includes 18 lesson courses on various subjects, with 50 more rolling out next month.
With McGraw Hill finding that three in four college students use platforms like TikTok and YouTube for study help, the company hopes that copying their appeal will keep people turning the page…or rather, scrolling the feed to learn more.