The “e” in “eLearning” may stand for “electronic”, but it may well mean “enhanced”. Because that’s exactly what has happened with the shift towards eLearning. It has opened a world of possibilities in the way one consumes learning content that we once not even imagined, or thought to be limited to the world of imagination.
The corporate training space has lapped up the transformation, and is spearheading it now with a whopping 90% of them using it, followed by others like academia. The one technology that made this seismic shift possible was Flash software. The new era, though, is about moving from Flash-To-HTML5.
Flash was for many years the dominant technology behind animated content, including eLearning. It’s now going obsolete due to its many issues and the rise of better technologies like HTML5. This blog explains the details behind the transformation, and why you need to change your eLearning content to HTML5 if you’re still stuck with legacy flash technology.
The contents of the blog are as follows:
- Story Of Flash-Reasons Behind Its Rise and Fall
- Reasons HTML5 Is The Better Choice
Why The Flash Player HTML5 Tussle Is Happening At All: The Rise and Fall Of Flash
In its heyday, flash proved to be a wonder tool for eLearning content developers who could rely on it to create vibrant animations, graphics, and interactive content. It led to the dawn of interactive eBooks-electronic learning material with which one could interact and change certain components of its content. Such interactivity increased engagement and retention manyfold, making eBooks more popular by the day ever since (The CAGR of 13.3% of eBook sales in the US between 2010 and 2020 attests to their rising popularity).
So why are people now asking the question “how to convert flash to HTML5?”. The answer has a lot of factors behind the fall of flash software that were once overlooked or considered a part of the parcel of using the technology. In some other cases, it was external factors that turned the tide against it, with the development and widespread adoption of HTML5 finally driving the proverbial nail in flash technology’s proverbial coffin.
Here are those factors that contributed to flash’s demise:
If you had to run something created with a flasher, you had to have the flashplayer. Though this player eventually gave way to browser plugins with the start of the internet boom, it was still something you had to download and install separately. Otherwise, you simply couldn’t/can’t access the content. Originally created by the company Macromedia, which was later acquired by Adobe, it is still a closed source software to this day.
While there are plenty of SWF file readers today (flash’s file format), the main flash platform itself isn’t completely open. So it restricts the development of applications, even with a seemingly open platform like Adobe Flex. In contrast, if you convert flash to HTML5 online, you’ll get access to an open source technology that doesn’t require additional downloads.
Drain On Resources
As much as people loved the wonders of eLearning brought about by the power of flash, they couldn’t ignore the struggles they had to contend with when it came to using flash applications in the early days. This was because the software was a processing resources hog, taking up a lot of the then limited computing power and memory and slowing the entire system down. Things did improve with time but the underlying sluggishness and intensive resources consumption didn’t go away.
In the age of mobile computing, a resource hog will also consume precious battery charge, potentially leaving the user with insufficient power for some other important task. Converting Flash to HTML5 solves this issue as the latter is a lot more forgiving on the computational resources consumption front. It even runs perfectly fine on low end mobile devices, with little to no noticeable performance change between that and powerful computers.
If slowdowns weren’t enough, flash had another trick up its sleeve that would at best annoy and at worst cause app or even system failure, requiring reboot-glitches. The problem is so ubiquitous that a dedicated section for it exists on Adobe’s support forum where people can air their flash video and game glitching problems. Going through that page shows the many issues that users face thanks to the broken software platform. Simply put, it’s unreliable to use for creating critical applications like eLearning material that contains crucial information that could be lost or rendered unavailable due to these glitches.
Flash-to-HTML5 transformation can cut down on such glitches to a very large extent, practically making them improbable. The latter technology has been designed with the lessons learnt from flash’s glitches.
Safety had always been a problem with the flash platform. It is simply too vulnerable to all sorts of attacks, including but not limited to, malicious data infusion, exploits, and cross scripting. In all, 131 security issues have been identified with it, most of them in the medium to high risk category. It is why Steve Jobs outright rejected the idea of giving it any room to run on his then newly introduced iPhone, something that continues to this day.
Flash player HTML5 move eliminates most of these security flaws as HTML5 incorporates some of the latest security measures like HTML encryption, use of digital certificates, and SSL encryption to protect data during transmission. While not perfect, it’s still the better option for online eLearning content where security plays a large role.
Growth of Mobile
eLearning and mobile gadgets like smartphones and laptops go hand in hand-literally. Mobiles in particular are today one of the main channels of eLearning content consumption. The anywhere, anytime learning capability through phones has made them the popular choice for eLearning education solutions’ LMS applications to be installed on. HTML5 cooperates with this new age interface very well, unlike flash.
Flash was built before the mobile phone era, meaning it was designed for mouse-keyboard interface best. It didn’t gel with the touch interface of smartphones. And as mentioned earlier, its resource-intensive properties made it drain the limited power supply available in phones.
It also was slow in supporting H.264 encoding for videos, which as technology grew became the standard for High Definition content, commonly found in eLearning. Plugins had to be installed to run flash files, and with time fewer gadgets started to get manufactured that could support flash.
End Of Official Support
With the platform facing so many issues, competitive technologies gaining more ground in the market, and loss of interest across the spectrum, Adobe saw the writing on the wall and finally decided to stop supporting Flash altogether from 31 December 2020. Flash users were urged to convert to HTML5 well before it so that they wouldn’t be left in the dark. Browsers were ahead of the curve, with the likes of Firefox stopping support much earlier for the flash plugin.
Without official support from Adobe, the flash software has become even more of a security risk, and will have many of its issues remain indefinitely. The closed source nature of the software means that others can’t work on improving it either.
Converting flash to HTML5 thus prevents your eLearning material from becoming a victim to obsolescence and every issue that can affect it as a consequence.
Flash certainly ruled the scene when it came to interactive, animated content creation and consumption once upon a time, but that time has long passed. It’s flaws that led to its downfall, however, are still around, and with no official support and ever-diminishing community support as well, there is simply no reason why your eLearning content should remain in the flash format. Learning quickly how to convert flash to html5 and implementing it, or outright outsourcing it, will save your corporate training regimen, and the company at large, in more ways than you may imagine.
Conversion of Flash To HTML5: What Makes It The Better Pick
To understand why eLearning creation and consumption must embrace HTML5 fully means to take a look at the purpose that eLearning serves in the first place and how it goes about it. eLearning’s popularity is the result of many of its advantages over traditional books and classroom learning methods working in-sync. You’re no longer restricted in terms of time, location, consumption interface/device, logistics, etc.
This versatility comes with the usage of the latest technologies, especially cloud computing. Mobile apps are also a game changer here, simplifying the login and interaction process. It must also allow professionals to easily convert books to ebooks so that original content is not lost.
The following features of HTML5 enable it to satisfy all those demands, making it the best choice:
Pure Code-Based Content Creation
HTML5 has the new-age ability to create interactive elements using what’s called pure code. Essentially, it means that the content created using it isn’t actually done so beforehand and stored somewhere to be accessed later. It is coded based on some characteristics that a browser utilizes while loading a page to showcase the content. This feature has a big impact on system memory and processing power required for the task, reducing the need for much of both, making flash to HTML5 conversion services a value proposition.
eLearning using mobiles, also known as M-learning, is the norm these days because of how convenient it is for both the creators of the lessons and its end consumers. Flash is picky when it comes to how it functions on different devices with different configurations. Furthermore, device manufacturers are also culling support for it on those devices.
By converting flash to HTML5, you’ll incorporate into your eLearning ecosystem a truly versatile technology that adapts to the device it’s being run on, thus giving the end users the same experience regardless of their choice of consumption media. The ability to add smart meta-tags is the icing on the cake.
No two eLearning content format specifications are the same; the information contained in every panel/dashboard of each varies drastically. The technology used to develop such a content must be flexible enough to enable such customizability. Flash comes up short in this regard, with its closed source system limiting its developmental flexibility. Its desktop-centric approach also prevents developers from creating customized content for different types of devices that use touch interfaces.
Convert flash to HTML5 online and the latter’s browser-dependent nature will automatically adapt the content to the viewing panel presented by the browser on the viewer’s device. There is also the lack of a need to install an external plug-in or software that needs to be updated periodically to keep it compatible and functioning like with flash. This customizability of HTML5 also allows developers to easily alter content after its upload to the database and usage, in line with the changing needs of the market.
Browser Agnostic Content Delivery
Cloud computing is the new norm, with companies and even academia relying more on it to deliver eLearning content. If not a dedicated app, then this content availability is made possible through web browsers. Flash to HTML5 conversion services can unlock this flexibility of eLearning content consumption media with that change in software, since flash can only run if compatible plugins or software is present.
There are many popular browsers in use today, with the top ones being Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari. And HTML5 will load and run content on all of these like they were the same. As mentioned previously, it also doesn’t discriminate between their web and mobile versions, giving the same experience in both while adapting to each seamlessly.
Thus, converting flash to HTML5 gives your eLearning content browser-agnosticity, leaving your users with many choices through which they can consume their eLearning content without any compromise on the experience, contrary to flash’s limitations.
Dynamic Local Data Storage
Flash has the problem of needing the entire data of the content to be pre-installed along with its compatible player software to run. This introduces unwanted bulk and resource utilization, resulting in the sluggishness of the content’s rendering. The solution to this flash player-HTML5 conversion as HTML5 stores just enough data locally in the client’s device to run the web applications but doesn’t overload it, instead relying on fetching the bulk from the cloud.
This means that the data stored is also altered dynamically as and when required, allowing for the easy updation of content and the application itself. You also don’t require a third-party plugin for it, further reducing your data storage load and making the entire experience smoother.
Convert to HTML5 and your data security will also get enhanced, thanks to the regular updating and the inherent security measures built into browsers, along with the measures adopted on the cloud server side.
Should the user desire to consume the content offline, HTML5 will help there as well. The developer can enable the ability to download whatever content the user desires to store offline for internet connection-free usage at any given moment. Thus, with flash player-HTML5 movement, you’ll be getting the offline facility of flash without the added proprietary player demands and issues.
The world is pivoting towards HTML5, with 90.4% of known websites employing it as their foundation on which they are built. The open source nature of the technology means that there is endless scope to improve it and iron-out its flaws overtime, and do so regularly due to its internet-friendly characteristics.
Converting flash to HTML5 will, therefore, make your eLearning content future ready/ future proof, as there seems to be no slowing down of the march of HTML5 wrt to dominating the space. In fact, it may not even be a matter of choice anymore, since flash is well on its way into oblivion, and HTML5 is pretty much accepted as the industry standard.
Not going along will not only make it difficult for your employees/learners to access eLearning but also makes collaboration difficult as the other party is most likely to be using the technology. Without flash-to-HTML5 shift, information exchange becomes a real hassle due to compatibility issues and security flaws inherent in flash technology.
The added benefits of shifting your eLearning to HTML5 include:
Building A Better Brand Name
When your business collaborators/vendors/clients notice that you’re staying in step with the technology that’s most in use today, it sends the message that your company values innovation and can be banked upon to get the results they are looking for you to deliver.
If not, and your eLearning content is still on flash, then they’d have to know how to convert flash to HTML5 themselves in instances when their personnel have to use content that you’ve shared with them. It will diminish your brand value in their eyes and will stunt your future chances of collaborating with them.
Better Content Interactivity
The versatility and technological prowess of HTML5 when it comes to interactive eLearning content development is light-years ahead of flash. The result of it is a kind of interactivity that is immersive and responsive while incorporating every new type of media out there.
When you convert a book to eBook with HTML5, for example, you can introduce direct links to websites and other material related to the content that can be accessed with a simple touch of the anchor text or link. You can also have dynamic animations elaborating the working of a specific product using the latest in animation technology that is easy to share and update as needed. The possibilities go on.
Interactive learning is known to enhance engagement and retention of the content by the learners. Converting flash to HTML5 makes the interactivity more vivid, versatile, and beautiful, making an impression on the user every time it is used. The result is better retention and recollection of the content they’ve learned. This enhanced retention also means less time and money lost to reeducation or revision, along with fewer mistakes made when the knowledge is implemented.
Flash games were a popular thing when they were around. eLearning content developers noticed that and incorporated it into their field to enhance engagement and change the way lessons are imparted. When you convert flash to HTML5 online, your users will continue to experience the dynamism and fun that gamification of learning brings, but without the hassles associated with flash. Being browser based and not device dependent, the mechanism will be the same, as will the learning capability, across the spectrum of users.
With the growth of the technology, the possibilities and capabilities of HTML5 will only increase, translating to a better online learning experience for all involved.
If you’re a company or institution that is still holding onto flash-based eLearning content, then you need to convert to HTML5 asap. Every moment it is delayed results in lost time and revenue, along with loss of market share and brand name.
SunTec Digital is the trusted brand name that can successfully transform your eLearning content from the old flash-based type into the present HTML5-based one. Our flash to HTML5 conversion services is led by experts with experience of decades in the field. We will recode your entire library of eLearning material that’s flash dependent into a HTML5 equivalent so that your teams and students can learn with the times and efficiently as well. And we’ll do it at a low price and within deadlines.
Want to know more? Have a look at this case study where we used the technology to transform a client’s mathematics and science books into their digital versions, using HTML5 and EPUB as the standards. Also, you can go through our blogs to learn about flash-to-HTML5 transformation’s impact on your brand’s fortune beyond eLearning.
Contact us immediately via our contact page, or our email ID (firstname.lastname@example.org), or on these numbers: UK:+44 203 514 2601/US: +1 585 283 0055, and we’ll get to work quickly on revolutionizing your eLearning content experience forever.
Brought to you by the Marketing and Communications Team at SunTec Digital. We publish tips & tricks, informed opinions, and interesting stories about Digital publishing solutions & industry trends. Join our mailing list to stay ahead of the curve.