HTML5 / Flash, how will these be used in distance training in the future?
13 August, 2012
HTML5 is considered as the Internet computer language of the future, logically following on from version 4. Though the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, international Web standardisation body) has not as yet made any decisions concerning the rules that will define this new standard, many companies have already started down the HTML5 road. In distance training, the production of training content is also impacted by this change, to which e-learning software must adapt.
What is HTML5?
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is one of the fundamental data languages used to represent web pages by means of tags. Viewable online, HTML documents are accessed using web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.).
The HTML language is about to undergo its fifth major upgrade with HTML5, aimed at preserving maximum compatibility of websites over all commercially available computer terminals (personal computers, smartphones and touch tablets). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is currently preparing its guidelines for this standard, that it only intends to publish in 2014.
HTML5 in a transition phase
Despite the widespread interest in this technology, HTML5 remains in a state of transition, though this does not appear to discourage companies in the least. Many of these companies are progressively adopting HTML5, particularly in the distance training sector, in which this technology is used to produce mobile training content: in this case, we refer to “m-learning”, or “mobile learning”.
Currently, most e-learning software applications use Flash, which is dedicated to PC/Mac terminals, to create and disseminate interactive and animated training content. e-Learning software publishers are progressively adapting their products to the rise in mobile learning. Training content for distance training must now be able to offer optimum compatibility with all web browsers and computer platforms. There is, however, one considerable drawback: HTML5 is a standard whose outlines have not as yet been drawn. This is thus currently causing a major tag homogeneity and interpretation problem, that varies according to the browser used.
HTML5 + Flash : a winning combination!
In distance training, the mobile learning trend is getting stronger by the day, causing an increasing demand in terms of training content production and dissemination over mobile terminals.
The main challenge for users and, consequently, for e-learning software publishers, is to offer tools able to make use both of Flash and HTML5, thus offering dual compatibility and covering the entire distance training market.