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HMH’s AI-Powered Literacy Solution Amira Awarded Research-based Design Product Certification

Third-party stamp of approval provides assurance of evidence-based design in edtech products for educators and families

BOSTON – Learning technology company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced that Amira, the first-of-its-kind voice AI-based reading tutor for students, has earned the Research-Based Design Product Certification from Digital Promise. The certification serves as a rigorous, reliable signal for district and school administrators, educators, and families looking for evidence of research-based edtech products that are based in research about learning.

Amira uses state-of-the-art speech recognition and powerful AI software to provide 1:1 reading tutoring, reading fluency assessment, and dyslexia screening and, in partnership with HMH, is already used in 300 school districts across the U.S. Ideal for in-person and virtual learning, Amira works to provide an evolving portrait of the class’s progress and can be used with HMH’s Into Reading to connect fluency assessment directly to relevant core literacy content and maximize instructional time. Amira has been shown to increase mastery, fluency and confidence in reading. Recent impact data tracking “Words Correct Per Minute” from districts show that students who used Amira frequently demonstrated almost double the reading growth of students who didn’t use Amira.

“Educators and researchers continue to uncover important insights about how people learn,” said Christina Luke Luna, senior director of lifelong learning pathways at Digital Promise. “Digital Promise’s Research-Based Design Product Certification recognizes the edtech products that incorporate research about learning into their design and development. Congratulations to Amira for demonstrating that research informs product design!”

“The Research-based Design Product Certification from Digital Promise underscores what we at HMH already know: that the evidence supporting Amira's effectiveness is considered “gold standard,” said Matthew Mugo Fields, EVP and general manager of supplemental and intervention solutions at HMH. “This important certification facilitates transparency in the edtech market; educators and families can find high-quality, research-driven products with documented success in delivering positive outcomes in remote, face-to-face and hybrid learning environments.”

The Research-Based Design Product Certification uses a competency-based learning framework, developed in consultation with Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project advisory board, expert researchers in the Learning Sciences field, and nearly 50 educators across the United States. Further detail about its development can be found in Digital Promise’s report, “Designing Edtech that Matters for Learning: Research-Based Design Product Certifications.” Digital Promise launched the Research-Based Design Product Certification in February 2020 and has certified over 50 products to date. More information on Digital Promise’s Product Certifications can be found at

Amira is the culmination of 20+ years of reading research and applied reading science from leading universities and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Amira was recently named a 2021 Best Tool for Back to School by Tech & Learning magazine.

To learn more about Amira and HMH’s suite of digital first, connected solutions, visit


About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning technology company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries. For more information, visit

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Katie Marshall

Communications Manager

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt