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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt To Launch E-Textbook Reader App for Windows 8, 8.1
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is working with Microsoft to make more of its K-12 education content available to users of devices running the Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems. The publishing company is developing a new e-textbook reader that will be available in time for fall 2014. The initiative comes in time for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which is gearing up for a major deployment of Windows devices as part of the district's 1-to-1 initiative. The Florida district is an HMH customer.
Currently, HMH has Windows 8 apps available for reading and math. HMH Readers reinforces reading fluency and comprehension in grades K-6. Free versions are available for Windows 8 and 8.1, iOS and Android. Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math are currently available for Windows. The company is also developing a Windows-oriented American Heritage Dictionary app, expected to be ready for download this summer.
According to HMH, the new reader app will allow users to purchase, download, update and explore content through the HMH Download Center. It supports annotation, personal note-taking and page navigation as well as embedded read-aloud audio and dual speed audio, streaming and embedded video.
Special features attuned to the Windows 8 environment include:
- Windows 8 charm bar controls will allow users to customize their e-textbook reader app experience. The company reported that navigation, bookmarking and video playback will be "easily discoverable" without feeling disruptive to the experience;
- Windows 8 offers the flexibility of multiple user profiles on one device, so students and e-learners can maintain their own app and content settings.
- School administrators will be able to set up devices with the appropriate content from a local network location with no Internet connection necessary.
"As more schools move toward a digital environment, engaging and immersive content is even more crucial for student learning," said Andrew Ko, general manager for Microsoft's Partners in Learning division. "This new e-textbook reader app from [HMH] will offer educators and students a powerful tool to both inspire and impact learning for success."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.