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HippoCampus and Adobe® Flash Content

Background

In July of 2017, Adobe announced it would end support for Flash in 2020. 

In May of 2017, NROC announced that all math courses had been converted from Adobe® Flash to HTML5. (NROC English was not built in Flash.) Member-contributed Flash courses were still available to members with caveats about their future usability.

In August 2018, NROC stopped supporting all Flash-based courses and asked members to install the new HTML5 courses.

In 2020, the major browsers have relegated Flash to an optional setting which can be enabled on a case-by-case basis, and most will completely remove Flash by the end of the year.

Recommended reading: https://www.maketecheasier.com/browsers-ending-flash-support/

Current Flash content at HippoCampus.org

HippoCampus.org is a repository of media objects, most of which are not created or owned by NROC. It contains many Flash-based media objects that we consider valuable and have continued to provide for the benefit of educators and students.

However, as browsers continue to sunset their support for the Flash plugin, it is becoming less obvious to end-users how to enable Flash when they encounter Flash-based content on the web. The error screen is different for each browser and depends on individual user settings -- some are blank, some say "click to enable Flash", and some provide an icon in the URL address bar as a shortcut to Flash settings.

Furthermore, each browser has different instructions for enabling Flash. See https://www.techworm.net/2020/02/unblock-adobe-flash-player.html for instructions on the major browsers as of February 2020.

Future plans for Flash content at HippoCampus.org

There are two types of content at HippoCampus.org that use Flash:

  • native Flash-built content (.flv and .swf) that we do not own, therefore we cannot convert to a new format.
  • content in MP4 format which currently relies on our Flash player, but can be converted to use our HTML5 player.

In 2020, we are converting MP4 content to use our HTML5 player. The conversion process is time-consuming, but we expect it will be done by the end of 2020. You can view a detailed list of the collections being converted.

There are about 400 videos in the queue to update. This includes about 200 from Phoenix College, plus the Moments in American History, Virginia Historical Society, and Dallas Learning Solutions' English, sociology, economics, and biology (we have already converted DLS history content).

The remaining Flash content will continue to be available to those who wish to use it. We will replace it with HTML5 content when and if such content becomes available from the original producers, or if we find replacement content that is not Flash-based. Recommendations are always welcome.

Teachers assigning Flash content to students should be aware of the limitations and prepared to assist students in adjusting their browser settings

 

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