Students investigate the amount of time they spend interacting with technology and doing homework as compared with other Americans.

The Issue

There have been many reports lately about people spending large amounts of time interacting with technology and the Internet. We are going to explore some questions about time use, which will help us to better understand issues of time spent interacting with technology.


During this project, you will compare yourself to the U.S. population to discover similarities and differences in how you use your time. You will use plots, statistics, and tables to uncover these similarities and differences.

Phases of the Project

1. Data Collection

There are two phases of data collection.

  • Create a copy of this Google spreadsheet to record your time use over a designated five-day period. It is recommended that surveys be completed before school, after school, in the evening, and before bed.

  • Find graphs related to time use by conducting an online search using terms like, “How do Americans use their time?” Here is one possible resource to check out (from FlowingData).

2. Asking a Meaningful Statistical Question

Once you have all of your data and have looked at several graphics online about America’s time use, you will declare your statistical question for this project. Some suggestions are below, but feel free to develop your own based on your analysis of the data.

  • On average, how long do I spend on homework compared with students across the country?

  • Do people who identify as male, female or non-binary take longer to groom themselves?

  • Are there groups of students who spend their time similarly to one another?

3. Sharing Results

You will create a slideshow or poster sharing your results. Your presentation must include:

  • A clear summary of YOUR time use data, represented by plots, tables, photos, and paragraphs.

  • A clear summary of America’s time use data, represented by plots, data, tables, photos, and paragraphs.

  • A strong statistical question based on the data that you collect.

  • A clear explanation of your answer to that question, based on the data.

  • A discussion of some of the challenges of this project, for instance: What made it hard to collect data? Did this affect the quality of data?

(Based on Joy Straub’s adaptation of the Time Use project from IDS at UCLA)

These materials were developed partly through support of the National Science Foundation, (awards 1042210, 1535276, 1648684, and 1738598). CCbadge Bootstrap by the Bootstrap Community is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 Unported License. This license does not grant permission to run training or professional development. Offering training or professional development with materials substantially derived from Bootstrap must be approved in writing by a Bootstrap Director. Permissions beyond the scope of this license, such as to run training, may be available by contacting