With the rapid development of AJAX applications, one has to wonder how current Higher Education applications will be improved and more importantly what new services will be developed. For instance, how might Alumni and Admissions offices combine data mining with the visualization capabilities with Googles new mapping API? Will future reports present information in a format to similar to what we find at http://housingmaps.com? How will this improve Admissions and Alumni representatives ability to access information while in the field? What other possibilities exist?
My colleague, Zach Tirrell, has speculated that our state-of-the-art web portal now needs significant re-thinking in that our user interface is awkward compared to what could be developed with the incorporation of AJAX. He and another colleague, Matt Batchelder recently developed a “Did You Know” channel, aka., “Tips and Tricks.” Although not the most exciting example, it does highlight some of the significant user interface improvements that give web-applications using AJAX a more desktop client feel.