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Can Learners Use iPad/Flash Emulator to Run PLATO Courses?


The vast majority of Plato Courses run without any issues on iPads.  For those few that still utilize the Flash plug-in, a Flash emulator like Puffin may be used.  There are, however, some known caveats with this emulator.

Note: When designing the iPad, Apple made the decision not allow plug-ins on the platform, including Adobe Flash. This prevents Flash-based PLATO content from being used on the iPad platform without a flash emulator.


Unique Interface Controls

  • PLE was initially designed for a mouse-and-keyboard experience. The bulk of the interactions (pointing and clicking) in PLE content are conducive to touch-screen analogs. There are some items, such as “drag-and-drop” that require unique gesture support. The Puffin app has a built-in ‘trackpad’ that learners can use to accomplish this.

Digital DropBox Items are not Supported

  • Since the content isn’t rendered directly on the students device, digital drop-box items are not compatible with puffin. We will continue to recommend that students approach these activities from a standard desktop.

Some content is not Supported

  •  As mentioned above, the Puffin solution makes a majority of our FLASH content available to iPads. The software, however, is not able to render Shockwave content, and Middlebury Foreign Language courses. We continue to recommend that students approach the following activities from a standard desktop.
  • Plato Titles with Shockwave Content
    • Basic Skills for the Real World
    • Job Skills for the Real World
    • Math Expeditions
    • Consumer Math
  • Middlebury: Foreign Language Content
  • Test Pack prescriptions: (Noting that test packs can prescribe content from the shockwave courses listed above)

Bandwidth Concerns:

  • The Puffin solution is recommended for facilities with a ‘large’ pipe to the internet. Since the content is rendered ‘in the cloud’ and sent back to the student’s iPad as video, it does consume more bandwidth than a typical PLE browser sessions. It also should be noted that this solution is not recommended for clients using a cache-server onsite.


What's Next

We’ve currently tested version 2.3.0 of Puffin. Testing has been done on an iPad 3, and we’re also looking to evaluate it against iPad 2 and 1 before Fall’s release. Additionally, we’re running some tests to better identify the bandwidth that Puffin consumes in a typical session, so we can provide more concrete guidance to customers.



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