Submitted by Fiona Beal
Recently, in a professional development session, I introduced a group of educators to Microsoft Sway. They were delighted with the application after creating a Sway introducing themselves. The plan was to then join Microsoft’s great one-stop-for-all space, the Microsoft Educator Community, and add the Sway they had created to their profile. I thought I would capture this process in a blogpost.
What is Sway?
Microsoft Sway is Microsoft’s newest, creative, free, online presentation tool released in August 2015, Sway allows users who have a Microsoft account to combine text and media to create an online presentation that includes text, images, audio, video, tweets and documents.
How do you access Sway?
Sway can be accessed in a number of ways:
1) Via Office 365
2) Via OneDrive
3) Via http://sway.com
How can I learn to use Sway?
The best way to learn how to use Sway is to go to the Course section on the Microsoft Educator Community http://bit.ly/1T2eZEN where there is a free Introduction to Sway course that should take you from 45 minutes to 2 hours to do (if you are creating a Sway as you go through the videos on the course). You’ll find it at http://bit.ly/2lut4BC it will also give you 500 points on the Microsoft Educator Network. Take a look at this Sway course. It is very worthwhile to work through. This is what you’ll learn:
- How to create a Sway from start to finish
- How to collaborate with others on a Sway
- How to share your finished Sway with others
What can you do with Sway?
You can use Sway very effectively in a classroom as long as you have Internet access. It can be used to create and share interactive reports, make presentations of various kinds, create personal stories, create digital stories, create assignments, present study materials, present portfolios, do project recaps, create newsletters… The possibilities are endless. Best is that this can be done right from a phone, a tablet or a browser. Learners can collaborate on Sway and they can share their Sways with the rest of the class or a wider community. It is perfect to use as an introduction to yourself as the educators on the training mentioned above discovered.
How can I share a Sway?
It’s super easy to share a Sway. Grab a link and send it by email.
What is some of Sway’s terminology?
You’ll come across words like Storyline, Preview, Card, and Remix,
Create your own Sway
Why not do a task like the one below to create a Sway about yourself, and add it to your profile on the Microsoft Educator Community to gain extra points? As we go through this I will show you how I did it with my Microsoft Educator Community Sway. (Note: This is only one way to do it – you can use your imagination and do something completely different!)
1. Start with a title and add a photo of yourself as the background
When you open Sway you’ll see this template on your opening page:
adding your Title Text, add an image to the section on the left labelled Background.
This can be searched for using the Search Sources box on the left if you wish to
add an online image. This will search through Creative Commons images. However, If you go to the tab that says Suggested you’ll be able to upload an
image from your computer. To do this click on Background, Suggested (top
left) and My device (bottom). Upload your desired photo.
The result could be something like what is shown below.
Add text information about yourself in the next card
Click on the green diamond + icon under your finished
title card and select the Text option.
Write about yourself in this card so as to introduce yourself to other teachers from
other parts of the world who may want to collaborate with you.
Here is my example:
3. Add an image and give an explanation about the
For the next card, click on the
green diamond plus icon, choose Image and upload an image from your device.
You can simply add a caption for your image, but you can also add an explanation of the image which is what I have done.
Here is my example. I added three photos in the way I described above.
Add three photos like I have done. Make one an image with an explanation and the other two images with longer text.
3. Add a video
There are several ways to add a video. Go to Cards – Video to add your video. Another way would be to click the green plus, and select three dots and video. From there you would click the Add the video button. Add your suggestion for online links. Once you have found the video drag it into the video box.
However, if you want to add a video from your device go to Suggested, My Device, and find the video on your device.
Add two videos with an explanation like I have done.
4. Add a tweet
This gives you extra points on the
Microsoft Educator Community.
This video takes you through the process of adding a tweet.
Here is my example
5. Finalise your Sway
Finalise your sway by adding a text card with a closing paragraph.
There you have it. All you need to do now is add your Sway to your profile on the Microsoft Educator Community. There are prompts to take you through this.
This is what you’ll see once it is done.
Spend some time getting to know this great application, Sway. It’s different! It is great!