Is it time to Abandon Adobe Flash in eLearning Design? [Chime in]

This morning while reading the latest news, I came across a CNET news article, entitled “Flash quietly re-emerges on Amazon’s Kindle Fire.”

Speaking to All Things Digital in an interview published on Tuesday, Amazon’s Kurt Kufeld confirmed that his company has been quietly testing Flash support with Kindle Fire owners since February. The effort was offered under the guise of an “experimental streaming viewer” when users would watch Flash video on certain popular sites such as,, and According to Amazon, the technology relies partly on the Silk browser running on Amazon’s KindleFire, as well as the company’s cloud-based technologies. Kufeld told All Things Digital that it’s part of a broader effort on Amazon’s part to “solve customer frustrations.”

“One we heard often from customers was that they wanted to view Flash content,” he said.

via Flash quietly re-emerges on Amazon’s Kindle Fire | Mobile – CNET News.

As someone who strongly believes that it’s time to leave Flash behind and embrace a new web that is plug-in free, I shared the story on Twitter with the following  prefix:

My tweet initiated a very interesting thread with help from some of my friends on Twitter, who don’t quite agree with my views on this.

What do you think, is it time to abandon Adobe Flash in learning design and embrace new, more modern technologies like HTML5, CSS 3 and Javascript instead?

Here’s the entire thread and please chime in by leaving a comment below:


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  • One web would be great, that is the goal, but there’s a place for other tools also. Those other tools will end up being the fringe though, rather than the mainstream.

    • rjacquez

      Hi Nick, good point about those legacy tools helping us cross the chasm, but we need to do everything in our power to achieve the ‘one web’ ultimate goal.

      • I am definitely doing everything in my power to achieve this goal. Working on corralling a few departments within my company to push forward with content and a way to display the content, then comes IT. I’m currently working on some posts regarding this. I’m sure you’ll have some great insights and I really look forward to them, and the conversation I hope it sparks.

        • rjacquez

          Absolutely, Nick. Please cc me in your tweet when you publish your upcoming posts as I don’t want to miss them.

  • Andrew Millard

    Great thread RJ. Thanks for posting.

    Agree wholeheartedly with you that we need this “limitation” to simplify learning. I’ve been advocating the abandonment of Flash in my org for a couple of years now and finally starting to make headway. Things are now beginning to fall into place.

    Content needs to be responsively designed so that it is independent of screensize, and adaptively designed so that it is appropriate to the device – both so that it scales to fit the screen in a sensible way, and takes advantage of the devices capabilities. Content that just can’t fit well on a small screen (such as very detailed images) may just be hidden on smaller devices, but we should think of other ways to present that content so that users on smaller devices don’t have to lose out.

    As for tools, there are options coming down the pike that are excellent and offer new opportunities to design content in better, more engaging ways than the traditional presentational/linear process that had become so typical of most elearning. Flash had become a crutch for a lot of designers and now they need to break out of the mold and start designing for a new era using different paradigms.

    Claro’s soon-to-come “Flow” features will allow designers to build content in a responsive framework using a WYSIWYG tool and I was impressed with how easy it was. And there are a ton of RWD frameworks like Foundation by Zurb that can easily be adapted to build content that will reflow for the device screen as needed. Some imagination is needed to see how this can be done, but it needs to happen.

    • rjacquez

      Hi Andrew, thanks for evangelizing ‘responsive’ design in your organization, it’s the only way to go and we need more people like us, especially in Learning in order to make sure we don’t miss this huge opportunity in front of us.

      I agree with you in that transitioning to mobile isn’t about taking everything we have today on that desktop and retrofitting it down to the smaller screen, it’s about figuring out new ways to present content in a way that it makes sense on each screen.

      Thank you, Sir!

  • JoshCav

    The ONLY time that Flash was mentioned at mLearnCon was with the word “legacy”.

    I just had a meeting about curriculum, and Flash is headed out the door. Time to double down on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript based frameworks.

    There will be tons of Flash legacy projects that will need support for years to come, but all new training initiatives should be mobile first with HTML5.

    Also, notice that the W3C recently upped the ante with Digital Publishing. This is not by accident. There is massive convergence of mobile, desktop, ebooks, and television – all driven by HTML5.

    • rjacquez

      Hi Josh, that is a great sign of the mobile times. I think you are making all the right moves by focusing your training more on HTML5 CSS3 and Javascript. No real reason to continue teaching stuff that students won’t be able to use in the near future.

  • andrewsmyk

    Everyone tends to overlook that Flash allows you to publish to an HTML5 output including all the necessary javascript and canvas settings. Plugins like Create.Js give content developers more options for developing interactive content that can be published from one development platform to Android and iOs. If you are strictly looking at Flash as a means of publishing swfs, then it is limited, but the ability to create various content makes quite versatile.

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