A Teacher’s Guide to… HTML5

A Teacher’s Guide to… HTML5


It’s a term that gets banded around a lot: “this great new learning tool uses HTML5” or “we’re using HTML5 to make it more accessible” or “the kids in coding club have built a great HTML5 app”.

In this blog we explain the basics of HTML5, look at how it has changed the online environment, and what it could mean for education.

What does HTML stand for?
HTML is the abbreviation of Hypertext Markup Language (you don’t really need to know this, but it’s worth remembering if you play pub quizzes as it seems to be a popular question!).

What does HTML do?
The first thing to understand is that there are two sides to every website. The part you see and interact with (the front end) is powered by a set of instructions happening behind the scenes (the back end). The instructions are written in HTML, which is essentially the language of the Internet.

What is HTML5?
HTML5 is the latest revision of this language, and has been accepted as the global standard ensuring that websites that use it are accessible for the majority of online users (however, it’s not fully supported by some older browsers, often found in schools).

How is HTML5 different?
Have you noticed that websites have got a lot snazzier in the last couple of years? Slick graphics, embedded video, interactivity and responsive layouts are commonplace, and the chances are these sites are being powered by HTML5. The latest revision of HTML has made it easier for developers to make sites more engaging for visitors on any device.

So, how does HTML5 impact education?

1) BYOD:
HTML is device neutral, so it’s the ideal platform for learning tools that need to be accessed on users’ own devices. Furthermore, multimedia content (such as video) that was incorporated into websites pre-HTML5  was generally powered by plug-ins like Flash, a platform that was unsupported on many mobile devices. Now this content is embedded into the page, resolving compatibility issues.

Example: Our very own Magellan platform is built using HTML5. Users can access files, applications and other content on almost any device.

A screen shot from Magellan which runs on HTML5

A screen shot from Magellan which runs on HTML5

2) Engaging content:
The latest version of HTML not only makes it easier to include multimedia content, it opens the doors to more engaging and interactive online experience. All teaching professionals know how valuable audio, video and interactive elements can be in supporting learning, HTML5 is driving the latest innovations in e-learning materials that allow teachers to teach more creatively and enhance their lessons in new ways.

Examples: An interactive journey to the centre of the Earth from the BBC:


Take an interactive journey to the centre of the earth thanks to HTML5

Or this interactive tool illustrating the amount of water used in food production:

An engaging way to learn about the water in food

An engaging way to learn about the water in food

How can I get more involved?
There are loads of HTML5 e-learning materials already out there to be found. Here’s a good starting point.
If you feel more adventurous and would like to create your own HTML5 elearning content, have a read of this.

Magellan from CSE

The universal portal for education, providing simple access to local and cloud resources from any device through a single interface.

• The complete cloud and local portal
• Supports BYOD and device independence
• Anywhere, anytime access
• Supports learning and engagement
• Supports hybrid cloud computing
• IOS and Android apps available

Learn more