Imagine a start of the group of an Erasmus+ financed training where everyone has ticked the box to consent their photos and videos taken and used by the project for reporting purposes. Trainers remind the group of the fact and also ask for people who prefer not to be recorded. Several participants speak out and tell their preferences to be anonymized on photos. Some ideas are:
If I happen to be on the picture, crop the photo so that I am not visible. Blur, pixelate, or emoji my face. Shoot from the back or place me in the group in a way that would make me unrecognizable.
In an increasingly automated, artificial intelligence and bot-infested digital environment those concerns are to be taken very seriously. Indeed, this is directly linked to protection of privacy (a human right) in a learning event, online or face to face.
This is an actual week-long training in October 2021, Catalonia. It blends human rights education (HRE) with non-formal learning (NFL). One way to explain what is HRE as a means of promoting human rights and human dignity is to focus on the practice: the way we treat each other with respect and sensitivity to the learning related needs and preferences of the participants. Non-formal learning goes well with it – it aims to be holistic: to involve 3 dimensions of competences: knowledge, skills and attitude (which in turn are based on values). From this example one could learn what are practical solutions to anonymize a learner on a photo or video; how and when to discuss this matter with a learning group and furthermore – how this is a fair treatment and an exercise in democracy. HRE and NFL have a common goal to improve competences for democratic life.
NFL is participatory and experiential, includes reflection on learning and how participants influence each other. It is thus very interactive, relies on cooperation, contribution and initiative. This participatory style of facilitating learning is based on the internal motivation of the learners, needs of the learners and clear explicit expected learning outcomes. NFL is more and more appreciated and practiced at formal education institutions too as more and more teachers blend this approach with their teaching style.
Text and illustration by Uku Visnapuu, free lance trainer, participant at the training