Screenomics: A Venue for Developing an Ontology of Informal Learning through Everyday Digital Media

From The Theme

What if we could create a process for studying how, when, and for what purposes individuals use their phones and screens as they go through everyday life?

We set out to develop an end-to-end system for capturing, transforming, storing, visualizing, and analyzing the full record of what individuals view and interact with on smartphone and laptop screens over time, second-by-second, week-by-week, month-by-month – the “screenome” (Reeves et al., 2019).

We chose to use the screenomics paradigm to develop an ontology for describing the full range of content, functions, contexts, and time-scales that manifest in individuals’ digital lives (smartphone and laptop screens).

By utilizing the screenome concept, we were able to successfully track individual “user journeys” of adolescents as they moved through a variety of screens and media. We successfully developed analytic tools needed to identify meaningful patterns in the newly available screenome data and used those tools and data to identify a new typology of screen behavior. Given that learning is a continuous and contextual activity, this new typology of screen behavior can provide insights into the ways that informal learning occurs through everyday media consumption.

mediaX Research Update Fall 2020

Screenomics Lab at Stanford University

Watch Byron’s mediaX Talk, Constructing a Personal Media Day: Switching Between Work and Play on a Laptop Computer

Thomas Robinson is the Irving Schulman, MD Endowed Professor in Child Health, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine, in the Division of General Pediatrics and the Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Dr. Robinson focuses on “solution-oriented” research, developing and evaluating health promotion and disease prevention interventions for children, adolescents and their families to directly inform medical and public health practice and policy.

Byron Reeves is the Paul C. Edwards Professor of Communication at Stanford University. He teaches courses in mass communication theory and research, with particular emphasis on psychological processing of interactive media. His research includes message processing, social cognition, and social and emotion responses to media, and has been the basis for a number of new media products for companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, in the areas of voice interfaces, automated dialogue systems and conversational agents.

Nilam Ram is a Professor in the Departments of Communication and Psychology at Stanford University. Nilam’s research grows out of a history of studying change. After completing his undergraduate study of economics, he worked as a currency trader, frantically tracking and trying to predict the movement of world markets as they jerked up, down and sideways. Generally, Nilam studies how short-term changes (e.g., processes such as learning, information processing, emotion regulation, etc.) develop across the life span, and how longitudinal study designs contribute to generation of new knowledge.

Xiaoran Sun is PhD (postdoc) at Stanford University, affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Communication, and in the Stanford Data Science Scholar Program. Her current work is mainly involved with The Screenomics Lab and the Solutions Science Lab.

Main Image: William Iven