So, at first I didn’t really get Sway.
At first glance Sway is just another way of making presentations – one that isn’t quite as good as PowerPoint. I thought I knew the pitch; keep the kids engaged by using an alternative presentation tool. I remember the same argument when I spent hours producing my first Prezi that would have taken a few minutes in PowerPoint, but yes, they were impressed.
Nowerdays, I’m not prepared to invest hours for a few muted wows from the audience. If I am going to invest my time then new software or apps have really got to impact on teaching and learning or smooth my workflow.
It turns out that Sway can work on both of these counts. Firstly, Sway is really simple to use. The use of ‘Cards’ to edit the content is fairly intuitive which means that getting your content in takes just a few minutes.
The different type of cards each have their own particular features which makes them easy to use and very quickly you can have a whole presentation running.
Searching for conent to add to the cards is pretty easy too. Content is automatically presented within Sway from a pretty good list of sources, although I have to admit that I have always had a soft spot for Google Search which is not there.
As well as being pretty easy to use, Sway produces a nice looking online presentation, and if you are too busy yourself, then simply sharing an edit URL means that you can work collaboratively with colleagues to produce the finished Sway.
The great things about these presentations is that they can be easily distributed by just sharing the URL You can also restrict viewing to people within your organisation, and this, together with the collaborative features of Sway, make it a great choice for producing what might have been traditionally printed documents like newsletters.
Our newsletter will be accessed by people on all sorts of devices, from staff sitting at a 32″ monitor tot those crossing the yard with their mobile phones. The great thing about Sway is the responsive design it produces, which means it always looks great on any device here is our latest
More importantly, the easy share feature of Sway means that pupils can now use Sway to reach in International audience with their work. This gives their work real purpose and through teacher facilitation can motivate pupils, build international partnerships and give pupils a new perspective. Groups of pupils around the world, or around your classroom can share and collaborate as a co-authors simply by sharing a url.
A bit of experimenting with embedding sways has also been interesting. You can embed Sway onto a webpage which means that webpage editing no longer needs to be left to the geeks. The geeks can do the embedding, and then anyone with the edit URL can update the Sway which then of course will update on the website. A great, simple way of getting easy to edit content onto your website. I’ve tried it on the BaeBagan website and it looks pretty good!
Turns out that Sway offers more than just a different way of doing presentations. Looking forward to using it more in the future.