2013 is the year of HTML5… my team has been talking about it, eLearning gurus from around the world have been talking about it. What exactly will this mean, though, for eLearning development? This year’s Learning Solution’s Conference & Expo will be held from March 13-15, 2013 in Orlando, FL. Because I am going to be presenting the “Top Five Ways to Transition Away from Flash” at this conference, I have decided to delve deeper into the many aspects of development that the HTML5 evolution will affect.

Those of us that are involved in technology know that the rate of change is equivalent to dog years. Every year people’s demands change, and every year we are expected to provide solutions to these demands accordingly. Because of this, all of us need to be in a lifelong learning mode and accept that change is constant. Furthermore, we must acknowledge that things like browser compatibility issues and the psychological drama of having to relearn your craft are barriers that we must overcome time and time again…they will continue to be a challenge of our jobs. For programmers specifically, those people who are experts in Flash and do not rely on rapid development tools like Articulate, must make an incredibly strong effort to shift from Flash to HTML5.

So what specific challenges exist when making this transition? HTML5 sites won’t be the same as Flash sites, more importantly HTML5 may not exactly be an interface improvement. Furthermore this development will most likely be more expensive, but yet less elaborate. HTML5 is currently, still, a work in progress—browsers are interpreting this code differently, especially with video and audio. What happens to legacy content that has already been developed in Flash? How can you get your staff trained in learning the HTML5 language? My presentation this year will outline both the benefits and limitations of development in both HTML5 and plug-ins, how to identify three strategies for transitioning to mobile-friendly programming, how to analyze staff propensity to handle HTML5, and management methods to help transition staff away from Flash. While my session will focus mainly on the perspective of both a manager and a programmer point of view, I hope the session provides tips on how to make the jump for all managers, developers, designers, and other members of the development team. Sure, Web Courseworks has spent years refining our craft in Flash production—especially for games and simulations, but when the demand calls for tablet friendly eLearning, we must make the difficult transition along with everyone else.

Managing eLearning is written by the Blog team at Web Courseworks which includes Jon Aleckson and Jillian Bichanich.  Ideas and concepts are originated and final copy reviewed by Jon Aleckson.