There’s no question that a new year brings a sense of anticipation for better things. The whole resolution thing is a great indicator that people at least psychologically want to make things better and are excited about what is to come. Each year, people are more than pleased to see the previous year kicked to the curb. At the University of Mary Washington, January means another new semester and students are once again filled with the excitement from the anticipation of new classes, and maybe a fresh start. For me this time of year means a re-dedication of my efforts as a New Media Specialist. Part of my job is a technology evangelist. Not of the corporate fashion, but in the educational technology sense, advocating for technology that enhances teaching and learning. So in general, this time of year also means new technology, that I evaluate on both a professional, as well as a personal level. One of the showcases that I always look forward to is CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Ironically, general consumers are not welcome:

The International CES is not open to the general public and all attendees must be in the consumer electronics industry to be eligible to attend the show.

The show is a monstrous event (I’m told) where you literally could walk for miles to see all of what CES has to offer. So instead of going to the show, consumers rely on news organizations and gadget web sites to cover what’s new. Which coverage (and how much) you follow depends on how geeky you are. For my money one of the best tech sites period is Cnet, which I often recommend to faculty, students, and others for researching technology products that they are looking to buy. They have an outstanding crew of technology reviewers, so it’s not surprising that their CES coverage is outstanding as well.

Other places to get CES coverage includes Gizmodo, and Engadget. Also worth a special mention are the Live CES coverage provided by Leo Laporte’s TWIT (This Week in Tech) network.The TWIT coverage is kind of a grass roots approach to what is at CES. Leo and crew do live, everyman style coverage (at live.twit.tv) of the new tech and it’s amazing what they can pull off. TWIT is successfully becoming a new style of network, with less of a corporate approach and more of a user-centric feel. I look forward to early January every year.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by kmiller799