HTML5 Vs. Flash – How to Create HTML5 based Interactive eLearning Content

Learning professionals are increasingly thinking about how to achieve their interactive content. Do you continue to use Flash or start migrating to HTML and more specifically HTML5? We are also finding that there is confusion on exactly what the technology is…is it Apple versus Adobe or Flash versus HTML5? Don’t spend too much time fretting about the terminology. Spend time thinking about the functionality and the end result you wish.

At Instancy, we are different from other eLearning providers because our focus and approach is the durability of your content. Once you make the investment in content, the length of time it is able to be viewed without special software upgrades is important. Instancy also wants to ensure that as delivery technology change, your investment in content is preserved.

If you are an Instancy customer, you already know the power of our Learning Content Management System (LCMS) which includes a powerful authoring tool. If not, we look at what technology can bring now, but also look into the future of where we feel technology is going so we can do everything we can to advise our customers how to invest their Learning and Training budgets. If you are using our authoring tool, your investment in content is preserved and you do not have to recreate or reprogram the course. You just republish the course/content through Instancy’s automation engine. Instancy separates the content from the presentation without sacrificing content quality, interactive features, etc.

Now, let’s talk about the difference between HTML5 and Flash. There is both good and bad news when discussing this subject. Although we’re finding HTML5 to be a significant technology for the future, Flash is alive and well and will be around for the foreseeable future.  HTML5 is NOT a Flash killer. Flash is still the best way to deliver ‘reliable’, interactive content for distribution over the web. From what we can tell at Instancy, our research department feels that the HTML5 standards, once completed, will continue to support browser plug-ins. This means that there is no reason to think Flash will not continue to be supported.

What about video capabilities? Will HTML5 allow you to design the same interactive learning experiences as Flash? We think so, but until the standards are complete and we see what Adobe does with Flash, we just don’t know yet. Let’s see what industry leaders feel are the pros and cons of HTML5 and, of course, we just must add some of the comments from the Instancy developers!

HTML5 – The Good:

  • Improves video and audio quality – and the improvement is extensive.
  • Social Learning and Social Media is a much richer experience.
  • Vivemo, Blip.tv, and a beta of YouTube are already offering HTML5 players.
  • Improved interactivity over Flash.
  • The code is Open Source and not proprietary like Flash.
  • Supports enhanced multimedia.
  • Full featured APIs and Localization support.
  • Uses 20% of computer resources compared to 40% for Flash – this makes a big difference when someone is trying to view anything, regardless of their internet connection (DSL, Cable, Modem, T1, etc.)
  • Works in the IPad Tablet and will work in other manufacture’s tablets, and Smartphones phones too. This will take mLearning to the next level and will support eReaders soon.
  • The code is more stable than Flash which can be buggy at times and it MAY eliminate plugins as we know it.

HTML5 – The Not So Good:

  • Right now, the only downside are video codecs.  Sadly, there is not one standard. Video codecs enable you to view video on your computer (they exist in your player for example), and are already installed. Sometimes, you may see the infamous, “unable to play video” or “codec not installed”, which means you are missing that codec.   So, you have to go online to a codec directory and download the appropriate codec.  Codecs exist for audio and video.

Now, don’t let all these stats on HTML get you down because Flash is not dead, at least not in the foreseeable future. There are industry analysts and none of them can come to a consensus on the demise of Flash. Some analysts say HTML5 web page development and implementation will be mainstream sooner to 2012 while other analysts say it will be 2021 before Flash is dead. We at Instancy think it will be more like the middle with early adopters really moving ahead with HTML5.

Although Adobe announced they will support HTML5 in the next version of Dreamweaver, it will be interesting to see how they handle the bigger battles, especially since Apple uses only HTML5 and future tablet vendors, plus all the major browsers will support HTML5.

Why should Instancy be your choice for tool vendor as well as content vendor?

  • Our authoring tool goes beyond the beyond…provides both HTML and Flash outputs without creating learning content again and again – a huge cost saving.
  • Instancy tools create content once and allow you to publish your eLearning content both for HTML and Flash giving you maximum flexibility to offer to your users.
  • We realize that some of our customers lay awake at night worrying about how to write action scripts. At Instancy, no action scripting is required.
  • Let Instancy’s tools publish the content in HTML5 – no need to tweak the code.
  • Have you wished you could offer your users long answer questions for tests or quizzes? No problem, Instancy has you covered. Your students/users respond and the administrators can login to the portal to grade the question and, if necessary, contact them online to ask them to retake the question.
  • We provide functionality called Media Sync. You can author media elements like text and images to fly in and out based on the audio. This gives you the web-based control to create simple animations – we’d call it animation for dummies but that might get us into some copyright trouble!

Take the Instancy leap – we go where other authoring tools and Learning Management Systems only wish they went. We’re here to stay and have the personalized service and support you have always wished for.

2 thoughts on “HTML5 Vs. Flash – How to Create HTML5 based Interactive eLearning Content

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