Adobe Flash is a platform that has been around since the early 2000’s and was instrumental in making multimedia accessible. It was incorporated into many programs and helped make streaming video easier. Unfortunately, Flash also has had security issues, so Adobe is discontinuing Flash at the end of 2020.
Some Browsers are already blocking Flash files from playing. The problem is that, as the semester starts, you may find that you have Flash video in your course that your students may not be able to access.
You can look at your files to see if you have Flash formated items. You will want to look for files that end in “.flv” or “.swf.” These are the files that could be causing issues. You can also make a guess that any video that students are saying will not play are most likely Flash files.
The long term solution to this is to take any videos (that were originally in Flash format), and republish in HTML5 format. An example would be a Adobe Presenter video. All you have to do is republish as HTML5 and you are all set. If the new publishing gives you a new link, remember to change that link in the course.
Short Term Solution
Because these videos may pop up during the Semester, and time constraints may make it impossible to republish the files in a timely manner, I wanted to give you a short term solution. The caveat here is that these instructions are a band-aid and will only work while browsers allow Flash files.
It should also be noted that Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari are not recommended for use in BlackBoard.
Currently Firefox will play Flash content, so this browser can be used without modification. Please know that this could change at any time, so although Firefox works at this moment, it may not work on a future date. I will try and let you know if I hear of this, and I will follow up accordingly if that was to happen.
Chrome has disabled Flash content from playing, but this setting can be changed. I have attached instructions below, which can be downloaded.
Please be aware that, just like Firefox, if Chrome feels that Flash content is “dangerous” to be displayed on its browser, it may remove it. If this happens, Flash content will not play.
This is why it is important to know that enabling Flash is not a final solution. These files will need to be republished as HTML5 files, or a new replacement (non-Flash) file will need to be substituted over the next 11 months.
I hope this helps make this semester run smoother. Thanks for reading the FLC!!