Houghton Mifflin textbooks began soaring to popularity on campuses and classrooms in the early 1990s. During this time, textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin bought out the McDougal Littell textbook company as well as D.C. Heath and Company. At the time, McDougal Littell was primarily publishing educational materials for secondary school students. Houghton Mifflin primarily retained the supplemental learning materials from the D.C. Heath product lines. With these two business acquisitions, Houghton Mifflin became a true force to be reckoned with in the textbook publishing world. Houghton Mifflin textbooks were officially “on the rise" as they say.
In late December of 2006, Riverdeep PLC completed its merger with Houghton Mifflin. As the company continued to grow with further mergers, Houghton Mifflin sold off its educational testing division, Promissor, to to fellow textbook publishing corporation Pearson PLC. The company still maintains several assessment products under the name of Riverside publishing. In the middle of July 2007, Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep bought out Harcourt Education. McDougal Littell then combined with Harcourt’s Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. This particular merger led to their popular publishing imprints often used within the United States, Holt McDougal textbooks and McDougal Littell textbooks.
In the late 2000s, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt went through several restructuring and re-capitalization issues. Many of these issues were said to be brought upon the company due to the looming economic crisis. At one point, many educators truly believed that they would see an end to Houghton Mifflin textbooks in the classroom. However, the company appears to be doing rather well as of recently. In March of 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt let the world know that they had completed their re-capitalization. It was revealed that the debt levels of the company had shrunk by approximately 60%. During this time it was also revealed that the company’s annual interest payments had shrunk by over 75%.
Along with all of the other major textbook publishers throughout the world, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is quickly shifting their educational focus to areas involving digital media. Just like the educational materials distributed by the other “big name" publishers, Houghton Mifflin textbooks are increasingly “going online". Complete online textbooks are probably not too far behind their other digital educational supplementary material for many of the common courses students encounter while climbing the education ladder.
The company recently won an Editor’s Choice Award from the Children’s Technology Review in 2011. They developed a mobile app for preschoolers titled “Go George Go!" that is becoming increasingly popular with children and parents alike. In regards to Houghton Mifflin textbooks, it appears that their future lies predominantly in the digital world. Just how quickly students can begin accessing these online textbooks in their digital world will depend upon how quickly the company adapts to this changing technological landscape currently being utilized by students across the globe.
They appear to be adapting to the necessary technological changes pretty quickly so far. Students are certainly taking notice of the company’s digital media offerings “outside" of their standard Houghton Mifflin textbooks. Many students are especially fond of the Holt Online textbook resource the company currently uses to connect with their end-users.