Week 8 – Time Spent and Apps Opened Visualisation

Figure 1 – Time / Apps Visualisation

I kept track of how much time I spent on my phone over the week and tried to keep rough track of what apps I used during that period. I limited the apps on the visualisation to those that I accessed twenty times or greater. Within keeping track of how much time I spent on the phone I was able to see how many times I unlocked the phone.

Description of the Visualisation

There are three lines on the visualisation representing the following in order:

  1. Time spent on the phone (clock at the end of the line)
  2. Number of times phone was unlocked (tally counter at the end of the line)
  3. How many times an app was opened (window at the end of the line)

Each line gives some basic information but when combined together the viewer would be able to draw some correalations as to what the user was doing during a given day.


Figure 2 – Legend


The idea behind this week was to track my phone usage similar to how it was described in ‘The Platform Society’ (van Dijck et al 2018) that AltSchool would monitor their students, “each pupil has an iPad or Chromebook, and every activity is automatically recorded and analyzed” (p. 7). Within that though was to show how maybe that the information that is gathered might be a bit thin on substance meaning that there might be little to gain from tracking it.

The visualisation itself has a clock, tally counter and windows these were used because they are something people have come in contact with and would be familar with.

In different sections of the visualisation the same colours needed to be reused due to running out of colours but I think this also highlights the same situation in dashboards. Within dashboards you can have several different items being shown on the screen and all depending on the colour pallette available might get confused at what is being shown.

1 thought on “Week 8 – Time Spent and Apps Opened Visualisation

  1. bwilliamson

    I like the way you’ve translated from the AltSchool example in the van Dijck et al book to your own monitoring. Keeping in mind an example like AltSchool will be useful as we move to the final block on policy and governing. Although AltSchool has closed now, it was often seen as a prototype of the future of schooling. A lot of the language of policy today sounds quite similar to AltSchool. There seems to be an emerging policy ideal that schools and universities should be run in this kind of data-driven way. So we want you to start thinking about how policymakers or education leaders might ‘govern with data’, and the consequences of data-driven policy and management in education.


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