Jo Patton had a huge task – to futureproof the Church of England by encouraging and gathering young students’ opinions on how the church runs. He needed a way to get the best ideas from a range of students, alongside a tool that can motivate them to have fun and think freely, and keep them engaged in an e-learning envrionment. Yikes. Good luck, Jo!
The students in Jo’s class submitted heaps of insightful ideas to his open questions. One class received 400 unique responses, with several from quieter students who otherwise may never have contributed. Students felt included in and connected with the conversation, all despite their hybrid learning environment and the distractions around them.
The Church of England (CoE) is the state church in England and the original church of the Anglican Communion since the 16th century. Its liberal ideas are very much woven into the fabric of the state, with over 4,600 official CoE schools across the country.
Today’s hero, Jo Patton, works for the Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award, a program within the CoE that seeks to inspire young people to be the change in their communities. Jo and his team do this through teaching schoolchildren virtually from their homes and offices in York, UK.
Despite his profound task, Jo’s first challenge is pronouncing the name of the software right – “is it Aha-Slides or A-haSlides?”
After that, his real challenge was a familiar one to so many teachers – how to keep students engaged online when it’s so easy for them to tune out. How can you inspire kids to lead when they’re not inspired to listen?
As per the 3 pillars of the Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award, each student needed not only to listen, but to learn to express leadership, faith and character.
Jo’s students really took advantage of their lessons through AhaSlides. They were so enthusiastic about replying that Jo had to lock submissions after his word cloud reached an enormous 2000 responses!