Youth Concerns and Responses to Self-Tracking Tools and Personal Informatics Systems
Though some work has looked at the implementation of personal informatics tools with youth and in schools, the approach has been prescriptive; students are pushed toward behaviour change intervention or otherwise use the data for prescribed learning in a particular curriculum area. This has left a gap around how young people may themselves choose to use personal informatics tools in ways relevant to their own concerns. We gave workshops on personal informatics to 13 adolescents at two secondary schools in London, UK. We asked them to use a commercial personal informatics app to track something they chose that they thought might impact their learning. Our participants proved competent and versatile users of personal informatics tools. They tracked their feelings, tech activity, physical activity, and sleep with many using the process as a system for understanding and validating aspects of their own lives, rather than changing them.