Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Opens API to Ed Tech Developers


Education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has launched a Developer Portal for Ed Tech developers, designers and educators to encourage them to create educational applications that will benefit students, parents and teachers.

HMH has made its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) public so that developers can start creating innovative and useful EdTech tools. HMH is celebrating the launch with Curious Codefest, a 24-hour developer challenge.

The Developer Portal is a new online platform designed by incubator HMH Labs. The latter aims to accelerate the process by which new ed tech ideas are conceived, experimented with and eventually developed and deployed.

By making its APIs open to outsiders, HMH gives developers the opportunity to create, design and execute technological solutions that can offer a unified experience for educators and students who already use HMH products and services.

HMH Labs aim to offer better user experiences for those in education by creating ed tech tools that are interoperable and seamlessly integrate with one another. The Developers Portal already gives access to the Identity, Assignment and Documentation resources of HMH, according to Education Dive.

Brook Colangelo, Chief Technology Officer at HMH, says the company makes an integrated learning experience a possibility with the recent exposure of its APIs:

“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. By exposing our APIs, our goal is to provide greater opportunities for interoperability and ultimately an elegant, streamlined user experience for our customers.”

Opening the APIs makes it possible for developers to create tech solutions that use an environment many educators are already familiar with. Claudia Reuther, HMH Labs’ VP, says the Developer Portal will pave the way for the creation of essential, useful tools:

“Perhaps a developer has a great idea for helping teachers track attendance or a tool to help teachers and families communicate more easily.”

She added:

“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.”

During the 24-hour Boston event, developers must invent an ed tech solution for educators, teachers or parents. According to Leila Meyer of Campus Technology, topics include attendance tracking and homework assignment tools, interactive, customized learning and communication solutions between school and home.

The Curious Codefest is to take place June 27-28, 2015 in Boston, MA and the winner will receive a $4,000 prize. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a pre-k-12 education provider with a focus on offering state-of-the-art technology, content and services to students and their educators.

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