McGraw-Hill Education further proved Friday that legacy leaders still know how to innovate.
The company announced it will be expanding its Boston office to accommodate the growth of its R&D “hub,” a startup in the midst of a 100-year-old company. With that, McGraw-Hill plans to hire an additional 45 employees, focused on digital research and development, to take its total to approximately 105 by the end of 2014.
McGraw-Hill opened its Boston R&D center last June. “The goal of these R&D centers is to bring entrepreneurial people together and let the ideas flow,” said Stephen Laster, McGraw-Hill’s chief digital officer, in a previous interview.
And following Friday’s news, it’s clear the team has the right idea. Beyond expanding its Boston office, the education leader announced it will also be opening a new office in Seattle, “to serve as a hub for enhancing educational technologies for the K-12, higher education, assessment and professional markets.”
“Boston and Seattle will play a pivotal role in our efforts to transform education through the use of collaborative, intuitive and adaptive digital learning technologies,” explained Laster in a statement. “We’ve made incredible strides in transforming McGraw-Hill education into a leader in digital education, and these new offices and employees will help us accelerate that progress.”
McGraw-Hill will be taking its total office space at 281 Summer Street in Boston’s Innovation District to 19,000 square feet, up 7,000 square feet in total.
The team in the company’s Boston office has been at the helm of developing McGraw-Hill’s adaptive learning products. Over the last year, employees have launched Connect Insight, a data analytics and visualization tool for higher education, as well as announced a partnership with Boston-based game developer Muzzy Lane. Through the partnership, Practice Spanish, an adaptive study abroad game for college students, was developed.
When previously asked how he sees the future of the company, Laster said, “The McGraw-Hill of today is one of adaptive learning. The McGraw-Hill of today doesn’t see the textbook as the future, or even the revisioned textbook as the future.”
The company is ready and willing to compete with several of the up-and-coming ed-tech startups — a competition these R&D hubs have helped make possible.
As Laster confidently announced, ““We’re going to be one of the companies that got it. I’m convinced of that.”