November 2017 Status Update
Reflections on the November release
Imagine you had a child who was blind, deaf or cognitively impaired. Imagine all the online information she wouldn’t have access to and all the things she wouldn’t be able to do. While the internet has been an incredible platform for sharing information, so much of it is still inaccessible.
A lot of the simple, static web-content is easily available for those who are visually, auditory or cognitively impaired, but the really interesting and valuable interactive content often isn’t.
And why is that?
Just because someone has a visual, auditory or cognitive impairment doesn’t mean that they should be shown a different version of the internet. If I had a child who had a disability, I’d still want her to be able to test her knowledge and learn by experimenting with all the best content out there. Let her answer questions and let the computer give feedback on answers to grow her knowledge and confidence.
Over the last two releases, we’ve taken huge steps forward to make more content available to those who can’t see or hear, as well as people with many other disabilities or impairments. I want to again extend a big thanks to Michigan Virtual and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. With their feedback and funding from Michigan Virtual we’re making the lives of people with disabilities around the world a little bit better.
This release combined with the last release makes most H5P content types accessible to everyone. Keyboard navigation, read speaker support and many other features have been added and tested thoroughly with multiple accessibility tools and scenarios.
Over the last two releases we’ve taken huge steps forward to make more content available to those who can’t see or hear, as well as people with many other disabilities or impairments.
You can find more information in the release note. I’m very proud that we finally managed to get this important part of our roadmap done. Of course, there is a lot of work left, and we need to keep this up, but we’re now in a good place in terms of accessibility.
Originally 2017 was the deadline for the H5P Content Hub. Luckily this deadline has now been extended, and this allows us to prioritize things in the last releases this year differently. Also, the Branching Scenario project has grown a lot in size, and we’re working on funding for the extra work needed to ensure that it becomes a great content type that will be easy and pleasant to use for both authors and learners. If you’re interested in funding and working with us on branching scenario let us know.
In the next release, the biggest thing we are going to do is to rewrite the entire content type hub to React.js. React.js used to be licensed with a questionable license, but after being abandoned by large parts of the open source community including WordPress they’ve now changed their licensing to MIT, the same license that H5P uses. This was a good move by the React.js team (and Facebook who owns it) and will see React being embraced by even more open source frameworks going forward.
The rewrite of the Hub(client) to React means that the Content Type Hub will be much more maintainable going forward and give us a solid foundation from which to add the Content Hub. There will be some visible changes as well, like better search logic.
Some of the other improvements coming in the next release:
- Voting on feature requests and bugs on H5P.org
- Make sure people who aren’t admins can’t see restricted or uninstalled content types when using the hub, and also that they can’t see the update button.
- Ability to remove the “check” button from question set
- Error message improvements for the content type Hub
- Embed support in Moodle
- Make it easier to set passing grade for H5P activity completion in Moodle
- Assigning "local role" in Moodle should work for editing H5Ps
- Permission for editing in Moodle
- New sorting options for the Content Type Hub
In the release after this hub release, the plan is to work on Branching Scenario if the funding is in place, and H5P.com - the H5P LTI provider for those using LMSs that we can’t make a plugin for like Canvas, BrightSpace and Blackboard.
As always the H5P community is actively spreading the word about H5P, and a week or two ago I went through my Twitter feed to see how much the community is doing to spread the word about H5P in seven days. This was the result of 7 days of the community spreading the word about H5P according to tweets:
- Presented 4 different places, at UnizinEd talk, ATESL2017, TRU_CELT, CanvasCon
- Mentioned in one Twitter Q&A session multiple times
- One webinar was hosted (how H5P works)
- Three workshops about "Interactive Teaching with H5P" and similar
- Three blog posts promoting H5P were published.
- A community member published a teaser from a new content type he is working on
The community is doing an amazing job spreading the word about H5P. By expanding the community we get more resources, the word is spreading faster, the technology is growing quicker and we are closing in on empowering everyone to create, share and reuse interactive content. Keep up the good work!
We can now be proud of the accessibility of most H5P content types, the UX keeps improving and we will make further major UX upgrades next year. We’re making web content richer and more interactive for everyone.