As consumers, learners and others go increasingly mobile, the glaring weakness in many eLearning platforms becomes more obvious. Most eLearning authors embed much of their learning experience in Flash movies– which are incompatible with Apple’s mobile devices. The iPad– and to a lesser extent the iPhone– have come to dominate their markets and consumers want their media (and learning) delivered to their Apple devices.
HTML5 is increasingly compatible with all of the major browsers. Even Microsoft has announced that future versions of the Internet Explorer browser will be increasingly HTML5 compatible. Mobile browsers, as a rule, tend to be even more HTML5 friendly than their traditional counterparts. Mobile offers another option for distribution: using a platform like PhoneGap (now called Cordova), you can distribute an HTML5 learning application as an “app.” That app can be distributed through the Apple or Google App stores.
Here I’ve listed just a few features of HTML5 that can be leveraged to make comprehensive and truly cross-platform learning applications:
A traditional weakness of HTML has been that it is stateless– it has no ability to “remember” information from one session to another. With the introduction of the LocalStorage object to the HTML5 milieu, you can now store information during a web session. The information is stored as a small key-value pair text file in the browser’s designated storage area. The stored key-value pair can only be accessed by the domain that stored it, making LocalStorage a secure form of information storage.
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Mark Lassoff is the founder and president of LearnToProgram.tv. His company produces courses that are educating thousands of software,web and mobile developers online, in the corporate classroom and in secondary schools across the country. Previous to founding LearnToProgram, Mark started several companies in the Austin, Texas area and continues to promote entrepreneurship and computer science. He is an in-demand speaker and has traveled the world to teach programming techniques and technologies. Mark also authors two monthly magazine columns. He lives in Connecticut, in a 150 year old converted textile mill.
Image Source: The D34n on Flickr.