Houghton Mifflin Harcourt launches a new web portal allowing designers and developers to collaborate on digital ed-tech products.
The portal is the brainchild of HMH labs, a technology incubation division set up last year, and marks the first time Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has exposed its application programming interfaces, or APIs, to external developers.
A key reason for doing so, according to the HMH Labs Chief Technology Officer Brook Colangelo, is to streamline the user experience across a wide and growing array of ed-tech products and platforms and encourage the development of new applications that function within the publisher’s ecosystem.
As Colangelo puts it, the web portal will serve as an “environment in which technologists can experiment and prototype with our APIs, and ultimately create solutions which will help enhance and transform the learning experience.”
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is doubling down on its ed-tech business, having recently acquired Scholastic’s Science Education Technology and Services division for $575 million.
To coincide with the launch of the developer portal, HMH Labs also announces a developer challenge called Curious Codefest, taking place next month in Boston. More details below.
May 20, 2015
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Exposes APIs via New Developer Portal; Launches Inaugural HMH Labs Developer Challenge
Curious Codefest will bring together developers, designers and idea generators to prototype new solutions using HMH APIs
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the launch of a new online Developer Portal, in which edtech developers, designers and educators can leverage newly-exposed HMH APIs to create learning applications that meet the evolving needs of today’s students, teachers and parents. To mark the launch, HMH will host its inaugural Curious Codefest, a 24-hour developer challenge in the Company’s HQ city of Boston on June 27-28, 2015.
The HMH Developer Portal was created by HMH Labs – a Boston-based incubation effort created by HMH in 2014 to fuel innovation and growth in education through the ideation, experimentation and rapid prototyping of new technology solutions. Designed as a gateway to access and connect with HMH APIs, the Developer Portal will enable developers to build solutions that connect seamlessly with HMH’s ecosystem, thereby allowing educators to create their own tailored solution in one unified experience.
“As a learning company with more than 50 million users, we recognize that our customers are using myriad technology solutions which can often result in a fragmented experience,” says Brook Colangelo, Chief Technology Officer at HMH. “By exposing our APIs, our goal is to provide greater opportunities for interoperability and ultimately an elegant, streamlined user experience for our customers. And by connecting to the HMH ecosystem, developers can ensure that their solutions work with those that educators already know and trust.”
“Perhaps a developer has a great idea for helping teachers track attendance or a tool to help teachers and families communicate more easily,” added Claudia Reuter, Vice President, HMH Labs. “Our aim with the Developer Portal, and with Curious Codefest here in Boston, is to provide an environment in which technologists can experiment and prototype with our APIs, and ultimately create solutions which will help enhance and transform the learning experience.”
While this marks the first exposure of HMH APIs to external developers, HMH has already leveraged APIs internally to create solutions such as HMH Player for iOS and Google Chrome — a groundbreaking app designed to tackle the major pain points faced by educators as they integrate technology into the classroom. A recent internal HMH Hackathon also invited HMH employees to use APIs to prototype their ideas and solutions, resulting in over 40 proposals.
Curious Codefest will take place on June 27-28, 2015 at the Cambridge Innovation Center, 50 Milk Street, Boston. The winner will receive $4000 in cash, with additional cash prizes and gift vouchers for runners-up. To register, visit curiouscodefest.bemyapp.com.
In addition, for those interested in learning more about the Company’s latest technology initiatives, HMH will host a developer meet-up at 6 p.m. on May 28, 2015 at its headquarters on 222 Berkeley Street. Click here to find out more.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K-12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom. HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children’s books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Emma Doherty, 617-283-8714
Director, Corporate Communications