Edinburgh Research Explorer

VizBlocks - A Toolkit for Data Education (EFI Research Award, 5k)

Project: University Awarded Project Funding


VizBlocks is an interactive and playful data visualisation toolkit for digital education workshops and courses in schools. This project explores how we can use emerging practices of data physicalisation in educational settings to create playful and accessible tools that engage young people in conversations about data, ethics and privacy. The toolkit aims to raise awareness about the value of personal data, meaning of data and ideas of data storytelling. Using data-driven wiggling feathers or popping balloons as playful physical representations of personal or public data, VizBlocks allows children and teenagers to investigate data visualisation methods, meanings and questions in tangible ways.

VizBlocks was previously developed as a proof of concept as part of an EFI grant ("Data Physicalisation Lego") and due to the interest this initial concept generated, this new project will further develop this system into a robust and publicly available toolkit for delivery and deployment in educational settings. In the first instance, we have started collaborating with Civic Digits, a theater production company, on the development and delivery of a series of workshops utilising VizBlocks alongside their Big Data Show, an immersive theater performance revolving around ideas of 'ethical hacking' and personal data.