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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Debuts Digital Language Arts Program for Middle and High School Students

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has unveiled Collections 2015, a new digital language arts program for students in grades 6-12.

Common Core-aligned and organized into six thematic groups, Collections includes multi-genre texts, flexible digital components, an interactive space for writing and editing, and personalized dashboards for users to monitor their progress and plan. Collections also includes a companion site,, with current and curated resources designed to complement key topics.

"Collections places instructional focus on analysis, drawing inferences and conclusions, and producing evidence-based writing," according to a company news release. "Complex anchor texts and performance tasks challenge students to analyze and synthesize fiction, literary nonfiction, informational texts, and other media, including extensive resources from History, Lifetime, A&E, and Bio. Additional audio-visual components, such as text recordings and 'screencasts' further sharpen research, writing, and discussion skills, while in-text annotation and audio tools support close reading."

Other features of the HTML5-based Collections include:

  • The Teacher and Student Digital Edition Dashboard allows teachers and students to communicate directly and allows users to annotate, monitor progress, submit assignments, and access assessment tools;
  • myWriteSmart is a collaborative writing and publishing platform that allows users to compose assignments, complete performance tasks, and participate in class discussions, among other activities;
  • mySmartPlanner provides lesson planning and organizational tools for instructors;
  • myNotebook, for note-taking and organizing ideas; and
  • Close Reader, texts designed for students to practice close reading techniques.

"Collections is designed for active participation and promotes meaningful use of technology with its intuitive fusion of digital and print components," said Mary Cullinane, chief content officer and executive vice president of corporate affairs, in a prepared statement. "The curriculum helps schools make the key instructional shifts related to [Common Core State Standards] and engages and inspires students in new ways as they analyze a variety of texts, collaborate with peers and teachers, and gain confidence in their voices."

Collections 2015 is currently being piloted in St. Vrain, CO and Salt Lake City, UT and is available to other schools and districts for sampling and evaluation. Visit for more information.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].