Adobe Flash End of Life & the Threat to Education

What does the Adobe Flash end of life mean for educators? For over 25 years, Adobe has been one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the world. Many of their technologies are in our school computers, software programs, and internet applications we use every day. If a teacher has ever done any photo editing, stream a video online, or played an internet game in the classroom, they have used Adobe. Shortly after being first released in 1996, the Adobe rock star, Adobe Flash Player, made its way into 98% of all Internet-connected desktops around the world. So why is this star falling at the end of 2020?

A short history of Flash

What will happen after Flash Ends

The internet and the Flash Player are closely linked. As one popularity grew so did the other. In our whitepaper: Modern Educational Insights: The End Of Flash – EdTech And E-learning Users Beware we explored the beginning, rise, and ultimate end of Flash. We also explained how the end of life of Flash will affect EdTech, EdTech professionals, and educators.

The beginning of the end started in 2017, Adobe fixed a date to retire one of the most used software in internet history. Adobe announced it plans to no longer support Flash Player starting on December 31, 2020. In the years since all content developers that utilized the once ubiquitous software have been preparing for the change. Users of the products built on Flash, on the other hand, may not be as ready. Anyone using older computer programs, especially in education, will face content, games, videos, and programs that will no longer be supported by upgrades, security patches, and bug fixes.

When & where did things start to go wrong with Flash

At one time almost every browser from Explorer, Firefox to Chrome, all had Flash extensions because everything was being built around Flash. Countless software and computer applications used Flash. This together meant virtually all computers had a Flash Player at one point, but not all good things last forever. Flash peaked around 2005 when other programming platforms starting to gain tractions including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These newer and fresher platforms started eating away the Flash stronghold. They offered:

1. No need to download a plug-in
2. No proprietary software needed to create content
3. Less online attacks
4. And lastly, the tech giant, Apple had it in for Flash

Read the whole story about the role Steve Jobs played in the downfall of Flash here.

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