Even though the impending end-of-life decision by Adobe for the rich interactive media tool Adobe Flash means that most content providers and learning developers will need to migrate to a different platform, and in most cases find a Flash to HTML5 conversion solution, there are a number of reasons that HTML5 should be the authoring tool of choice. Any e-learning developers that are currently creating course content should make one of the many HTML5 authoring tools their main tool.
Develop Once, Deploy Everywhere
The HTML5 framework is based on browser scripting. This means that a user only needs to have a browser to be able to view the content that was developed. This universal nature allows content to be viewed from any device and ensures that a user can transfer between available content delivery sources without a lengthy break in training, which is detrimental. HTML5 also incorporates responsive design into its structure to allow for viewing on any device.
Adobe has announced that it will discontinue the Flash plugin at the end of 2020. This was inevitable given that all of the major web browsers started blocking flash content from running unless the end user specifically allowed it. Flash has had more than its fair share of security vulnerabilities and exploits, and this prompted Google, Mozilla and Microsoft to block the default running of any flash animations. On the other hand, HTML5 video is based on an open, universal framework and doesn’t rely on plugins or insecure architecture, and is the language that browsers currently use. This means it’s very unlikely that browsers will discontinue HTML5. As well, HTML5 can easily be tested for a known vulnerability and the developer community is very quick to identify and patch any exploits it discovers, as well as offering a bug bounty to test for other exploits.
Adobe Flash had a rather steep learning curve. HTML5 allows for embedding the maid video content and then offers an extensible framework for adding rich interactivity to the e-learning course. Adobe Flash was limited to whatever Adobe and the developer community released and was often not secure.
Making the Transition
So if you’ve already made the investment in Flash, how do you move over to the new, universal framework of HTML5. In most cases, it’s going to be most effective to do an HTML5 conversion of your content. Planning this out carefully is critical.
First you want to list your courses in order of priority, and then ensure that the assets that Flash uses are able to successfully work within the HTML5 framework. In most cases HTML5 will recognize an application, but if you built formative evaluation tools directly into the flash video, these may need to be remade.
If you haven’t already done it with flash, consider integrating a learning management system to allow for better tracking of courses and completion rates. Offering trackable progression through your coursework is a large benefit of HTML5.
More and more applications will continue to discontinue Flash and there is a hard and fast end date for the product of December 31, 2020. By getting ahead of the masses now and planning your Flash to HTML5 conversion, you can identify any trouble spots early on and develop solutions without endangering the learning environment for your users.