It’s almost that time in January when you can stop asking people if they had good holidays and opening every email with a New Year’s greeting. Think how much more time that will make for reading! Here’s what we’ve been reading in the first proper week of work in 2015.

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets

This week was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a showcase for everything new in tech and gadgets that manufacturers are hoping you’ll be buying in the coming year. Wired magazine picks out its favourite products here. The Internet of Things is where most of the inventions seek to “improve” your life. We might skip the belt that tightens and loosens by itself as you gain or lose weight, but speakers that float in the air …! How much and where can we buy them? Follow the Twitter hashtag #CES2015 to see all the latest gadgets and news from the show which wraps up today.

Your online self reflected back at you

Entrepreneur Anil Dash has come up with a service called ThinkUp which aims to track your behaviour on social media and tell you how you’re coming across. At the moment it only looks at Twitter and Facebook. It compiles stats on the type of language people use and other things like “how often they thank and congratulate people, how frequently they swear, whose voices they tend to amplify and which posts get the biggest reaction and from whom.”

In 2015, schools will …

Predictions for this year are in. If they’re right, teachers will welcome smartphones into the classroom as they lead to “higher motivation, attentiveness and achievement” according to UK experiments. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t say who carried the study out so we’d love to hear unbiased accounts from teachers letting their students use their smartphones and getting the same results.

Edtech in Europe

This article asks where it’s heading and what are the challenges, investment in start ups being one key area if Europe is to catch up with America.

Call for papers

The first Innovate ELT conference in Barcelona in May is inviting papers on technology, methodology, materials and management as it relates to innovation in ELT and how that affects educators. Deadline Jan 15, 2015.

And finally …

If these are the best language learning apps, then they’re the ones to beat for any keen app developers with a knowledge of ELT.

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