Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology Form Strategic Alliance to Simplify Delivery of Educational Resources
HMLT to develop next generation of its award-winning Learning Village curriculum-delivery solution on the Microsoft platform.
ATLANTA — Today at the 2007 National Educational Computing Conference, Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology (HMLT), a division of Houghton Mifflin Company, and Microsoft Corp. announced a worldwide strategic alliance designed to make it easier for pre-K–12 and higher-education students, parents, teachers and administrators to access HMLT’s award-winning educational resources. As part of the agreement, HMLT will develop its next-generation flagship Learning Village® instructional Web portal on the Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and utilize Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and the Microsoft Learning Gateway. Combining the strengths of both companies, the alliance opens up opportunities for educators to integrate all of their content, applications and resources from one central source, using technology to manage and monitor their Web-content needs districtwide.
“Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology share a common belief that the education and technology communities need to work together to provide quality learning environments and experiences that fit the way students learn today,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president, Developer and Platform Evangelism Group at Microsoft. “This alliance will have a significant impact on learning environments, and provide a more efficient approach to delivering content for the education market.”
“Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology’s top priority is to provide interactive learning solutions for the pre-K–12 market that promote excellence and innovation, and accelerate academic achievement,” said Scott Kirkpatrick, president, Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology. “We believe Microsoft provides the strongest technology framework to aid us in delivering an innovative learning community, where education professionals and students can share best practices.”
Learning Village delivers curricula and content in a unified, personalized and education-relevant Web environment for hundreds of thousands of K–12 teachers, students, administrators and parents, providing a central point for accessing curriculum, lesson plans, communication, collaboration, best practices, teaching and professional development. The infrastructure of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 and SharePoint technologies will help HMLT connect educators and students to the best digital content and resources available while helping to reduce support costs and enhancing HMLT’s ability to deploy future solutions as software and services.
With Learning Village on the Microsoft Learning Gateway portal, students will need to log on only once to access their homework assignments. Once they’ve completed their work, they can then drop it into a “virtual backpack” for their teacher to grade. Parents are provided with the opportunity to actively participate in their children’s education, all through the same system.
Several key districts — including Broward County Public Schools, School District of Palm Beach County, Duval County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) — have been instrumental in collaborating on the development and enhancement of Learning Village. In 2006 MDCPS, the fourth largest school district in the United States with more than 1 million users, consolidated its communication and collaboration system to the Microsoft SharePoint-based portal solution after considering several technology options. The goal was to improve user experience alongside its other mission-critical teaching and learning applications. The change allowed the district’s teachers to access Learning Village digital learning resources anytime and anywhere without additional logons, multiple passwords or the need to click through numerous channels to find to what they needed.
“For a large education organization like ours with such a diverse base of users, the value of our technology offerings depends greatly on how easy it is to use, access and manage,” said Debbie Karcher, executive officer, information technology services, MDCPS. “As a result of Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology working together to meet our needs, more teachers have been able to effectively tap into the wealth of content and resources across our district to support student learning goals and enrich the learning process.”
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