Emergent technology & social networking is ever-changing, from our home lives to the classroom, technology is changing everywhere.  We are evolving from filmstrips and reel-to-reels to computers with basic programs to Web 2.0. It is widely known technology is rapidly evolving and reshaping our lives. Yet the question becomes not how technology can improve in what we are already doing, but rather how the affordances of these new and emerging technologies can be used to enhance our classrooms and empower our students in ways not previously possible.

Rich Internet Apps:

As the current trend of hybrid web/desktop apps continues, expect to see RIA (rich internet apps) continue to increase in use and functionality. Adobe’s AIR platform (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is one of the leaders, along with Microsoft with its Windows Presentation Foundation. Also in the mix is Laszlo with its open source OpenLaszlo platform and there are several other startups offering RIA platforms. Let’s not forget also that Ajax is generally considered to be an RIA – it remains to be seen though how long Ajax lasts, or whether there will be a ‘2.0’.

As Ryan Stewart wrote for Read/WriteWeb back in April 2006 (well before he joined Adobe), “Rich Internet Apps allow sophisticated effects and transitions that are important in keeping the user engaged. This means developers will be able to take the amazing changes in the Web for granted and start focusing on a flawless experience for the users. It is going to be an exciting time for anyone involved in building the new Web, because the interfaces are finally catching up with the content.”

The past year has proven Ryan right, with Adobe and Microsoft duking it out with RIA technologies. And there’s a lot more innovation to happen yet, so in 10 years time I can’t wait to see what the lay of the RIA land is!




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