Some reading for those lying in bed still recovering from New Year. Here’s what we’ve been reading over the holidays.

Your productivity in 2015

In time for New Year’s resolutions to get more stuff done, the internet is awash with procrastination-filling articles about increasing productivity. So, we’ll be taking 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work and following these ten tips for achieving more. We also might be looking at our office space again, if research into the effectiveness of open office plans is right. And then we’ll stop reading any more articles about productivity.

Duolingo evolves

Not only was Duolingo one of the most downloaded apps of 2014, it’s branching out into adaptive content and has done away with some of the old features, like the hearts lives scoring system. It looks as if they’re going to be taking the pedagogy more seriously but will they lose the weird sentences?

Big data, big knowledge?

Not yet perhaps, but this article gives great examples of different industries’ applications and what it might take to extract big wisdom from big data. And they quote Bruce Springsteen, which is always welcome.

Products that failed in 2014

Not all these are tech products; McDonalds also launched a product that failed to sell. It seems a bit early to write off some of the others, though. Google Glass and fitness trackers can sit on shelves longer than chicken wings.

The year of the entrepreneur

If ELT is anything to go by, Richard Branson’s prediction that 2014 would be the year of the entrepreneur was right. As we’ve been seeing in our ELT Entrepreneurs series, teachers and writers are forging their own ventures, and we hope to see 2015 be the year of their successes.

And finally …

If people are learning English from songs, their vocabulary will look a lot different in the last decade than in previous ones. Students since 2000 will be much more likely to swear than ever before, if this analysis of the corpus of Top Billboard songs is any indicator.

A happy start to 2015 to all of you!

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