Week 4 learning activities

The Play and Reflect activities below are due by  by Sunday 10 April. 




You have two options for your Play activity this fortnight.




Option 1 – Create an app

The rise and rise and mobile has meant the rise of apps. For this play activity you get to create your own app. There are lots of free app makers available, this article lists the top 14 that are freely available. Or you can search the web to find your own.

Find a free app builder and create an ‘information app’ – an app that groups together information resources on a particular topic for a particular user group. Work from the point of view of an organisation or community group, what information would their users need?

Choose an app builder that will allow you to preview your app (either on your phone or in a web browser on your computer). Take a few screen captures of your app and then pop these into a post on your blog. Don’t forget to tell us about your app in the blog post.

Option 2 – Quantify yourself

This is your opportunity to track your data and then put it to use. The Quantified Self movement  is about tracking different parts of your life, to give you awareness of your habits, that you can then use to change patterns.

For this play activity you can track whatever you want, whether it’s what you eat, how much you sleep, your mood or your daily activity. There are loads of ways to do this and some of you may already be tracking one or more part of your life. If you already have a device, like a FitBit or Jawbone then keep on using that. If you haven’t quantified yourself before there are lots of free apps that you can use to track different activities. Look at theses lists of iOS or Android apps that you can download and find one that appeals to you, but remember you don’t have to purchase anything to complete this activity, free apps are fine.

Once you have decided what you are going to track then spend three days collecting data on whichever activity you choose. To show evidence of your play activity post screenshots from your app that show the data you have collected over three consecutive days.





Write a reflective, critical blog post on one of the topics listed below. As usual, you should write at least 500 words or reflect in any other medium you like – minimum length of 3 minutes for multimedia.


Depending on which play activity you chose you can reflect on either mobile or the quantified self, or a little bit of both.

Here are some prompts for your reflection:

  • How you use the mobile web in your personal/professional/academic lives. You might like to discuss the impact mobile has had on your work/play/study.
  • An evaluation of an app that includes a summary of how information organisations could learn from the example set by this app in developing their own.
  • Are we suffering from app overload? As an information professional can you think of a better way to curate information for clients?
  • How has the quantified self movement influenced you? Do you track your behaviour? Why / why not? How does tracking your data change the way you behave?
  • Evaluate a quantified self tool and discuss how how it could impact a group of people. For example could this tool help people with mental health issues or chronic illness?
  • Think about how health and fitness tracking could be used by organisations to ‘monitor’ us. Is this a good or bad thing? Does it depend on the profession, or should it never be done?
  • Think about the information management implications of health and fitness data. As an information manager how would you feel about managing this information? How would you ensure it remains private? How could you mine the data to make it valuable to an organisation?


  • Yhaya Obaisi Reply

    I just wanna be calrified about option 2, I have to quantify myself for one task? or it can be more ? please advise. Thank you

    • kathleen Reply


      You can quantify yourself for as many tasks as you like. Some people might just like to log their steps every day, or their sleep, but some of you will want to do more than that. The choice is yours!

  • ibtisam Reply

    Nice and challenging topics.
    Really exited to do them.

    • kathleen Reply

      Looking forward to reading your reflections when you have completed them! Remember you only have to choose one option to complete 🙂

  • Kumarathevan(Steve) Reply

    Hi there,

    Can someone share one of the apps maker that actually works? I am finding some of them are going around in circle with registration and demo video.

    • Katya Henry Reply

      Hi Steve,
      We’ve just provided you with some examples. As a future information professional you might want to search for your own app creator. There are plenty out there! Just to clarify also, you’re not expected to design a working app and release it; we just want to see that you have put some thought into how an app can meet a user need, the process you went through, and how you found the experience.

  • Shaine Aruja Reply

    Hi Kathleen,
    Would it be alright If I combine the play option 2 and reflection since I plan on writing about quantifying myself and how it is influencing me?


    • Katya Henry Reply

      Hi Shaine
      That is absolutely fine. Just be sure to fulfil the criteria for both play and reflect.

  • Neil McNaught Reply

    Hey all, I’m getting slightly annoyed. I’ve a bunch of screenshots I feel like I need to include in my next post. I don’t want them to just sit there as they are boring- just screenshot data of how many steps I took in any given day. I’d like to have a word/image that opens to a gallery so that it doesn’t detract from the flow of the post. Does anyone know how to do that? The images are generated on this precise laptop so URL’s don’t really apply.

    Thanks in advance, Neil.

    • kathleen Reply

      Hi Neil,

      Firstly don’t feel like you have to do anything with the screenshots apart from putting them in the post! But if you do want to change the images you could resize them to make them smaller and then they might be easier to place in the post in a way you are happy with. Or you could create a Storify story or Flickr set if you want to store them somewhere else and provide a link to click on.

      Hope that helps!

      • Neil McNaught Reply

        I just resized them and popped them down the bottom. I’ll try to pretty things up when/if I have time a little later. Thanks for the response.

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