Conversion of Adobe Flash lessons on MetEd
Posted on: 2020-11-11

During 2020, COMET has been converting many of our online lessons from Adobe Flash to html5. COMET lessons have a wide range of use and are used by students and professionals alike to learn new skills and techniques in the geosciences field. Many lessons are used by sponsoring agencies in their staff training plans (For example, our S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior course). University faculty also use our lessons for classroom instruction, and weather enthusiasts use our lessons to become National Weather Service certified storm spotters. Adobe announced that they will stop supporting and updating Flash at the end of 2020. With Adobe ceasing their support, COMET lessons that use Flash will no longer function in most browsers and those lessons will cease to work for most users. Thus, COMET embarked on a large project to convert many of our lessons from Flash to html5. COMET has identified over 200 lessons that use Flash and need to be converted. As of October 2020, we have converted 71 lessons and identified an additional 70 lessons that will be converted by the end of December 2020. Lessons that have been converted include Jet Streak Circulations, Remote Sensing Using Satellites: 2nd Edition, Tropical Severe Local Storms, Planetary Boundary Layer in Complex Terrain Part 1 and Part 2,  and the entire S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior course (12 lessons in total). Lessons that are set to be converted to html5 including How Mesoscale Models Work, Low Level Coast Jets, Community Hurricane Preparedness: 2nd Edition, Skew-T Mastery, Adding Value to NWP Guidance, Topics in Tropical Meteorology, and Thermally Forced Circulations I and II. No one specific topic area has been identified as the most important and we are trying to ensure that as many lessons covering the vast array of topics and lessons are converted. While many lessons are being converted to html5 and will retain the interactive lesson nature, 29 lessons will be kept as a print version and the flash version will be retired. These print versions will still be available for learners to use. Some lessons will be retired altogether, but decisions from sponsors and usage on the MetEd site will determine which lessons fall into this group. We anticipate it to be only a small percentage of the over 200 lessons identified.    COMET is committed to longevity of our lessons and we will continue to ensure usability, web browser compatibility, and security for years to come.