For years, Adobe Flash was a predominant tool for authoring eLearning courses. A tool that worked like a magical wand in transforming eLearning into a remarkable experience with advanced interactivities such as simulations, drag-&-drops, role plays and complex animations.
Everything was going well for Flash until Steve Job announced his decision not to support Flash on iPad and the iPhone. Flash does not work properly on mobile devices and Adobe tried to rectify this with Mobile Flash player, but later renounced the plans of going forward with this project.
You might be thinking how this decision could affect the eLearning fraternity. With the growing mobile workforce and an increasing employee preference towards mobile learning, this decision started bothering organizations as to how their huge legacy eLearning courses can be made mobile compatible. Let’s delve a little deeper why HTML5 is a boon for eLearning.
HTML5 taking the throne
Plug-ins like Flash for more than a decade have provided a way to access videos and interactivities in the browser, but they tend to leave heavy footprints and require downloads. On the other hand, with HTML5 you can embed multimedia elements without relying on external plug-ins. HTML5 includes features like <video>, <audio> and <canvas> elements, as well as scalable vector graphics (SVG) content. These features help in including multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to rely on external plug-ins.
HTML5-based courses can be universally accessible. HTML5 has opened up new opportunities in mobile learning. By publishing your courses to HTML5, you can maintain the content in a single source and deliver to a wider range of an audience. This would yield faster turnarounds and large-scale implementation. HTML5-based courses can be accessed on all handheld mobile devices, such as smartphones, Personal Computers, Tablets and PCs. The look and feel of the course on all platforms will remain the same.
Apps are widely employed to make content available on mobile devices. Apps make content to be easily accessed and consumed anytime and anywhere. You can convert your existing PDFs, PPTs, audio and video into mobile applications. HTML5-based Webapps rose to power for its capability of running across various mobile platforms. On the contrary, native apps are platform specific.
Accessibility, unlike Flash, requires additional coding effort and time to make content accessible, HTML5 does not require any additional time and coding effort, since the HTML5 content can be easily read by browsers.
Flash will be back with a bang
Though HTML5 is now widely accepted, particularly within corporate environments, the challenge with this is always the IE6 debate, which a huge number of organizations are still using. Organizations reluctant to move to advance versions of the browser that support HTML5 content.
Flash has always been in the king’s seat for providing continuous solid cross-platform graphic animation, audio and video support in the browser where others have tried and failed. People still need Flash for videos, advance interactivities and complex animations, it will retain its domant position in the coming years.
To know more about HTML5 and about the four best Authoring Tools that support migration from Flash to HTML5 join the CommLab India webinar on “Migration from HTML5 to Flash” on 21st of this month.