At the upcoming Tots and Technology conference, I will be presenting on Office Sway. Office Sway is a presentation program that allows users to combine text and media to create captivating presentations and was released by Microsoft in August 2015.
The purpose of Sway is to convey concepts quickly, easily, and clearly. It is primarily used for presenting ideas onscreen, such as tutorials, topic introductions, and interactive reports. Sways are stored on Microsoft's servers and are tied to the user's Microsoft account.
A Sway is composed of multiple cards that are combined into a storyline. Cards are containers that hold text, images, and videos. You can combine cards into groups. A collection of cards makes up the storyline.
Accessing Office Sway
To access Office Sway:
- Go to Sway.com.
- Login in with your Microsoft or Office 365 account. If you do not have an account, you can easily create a free account.
There is also an app for Office Sway for iPhones and iPads. The app can be found here.
When to Use Office Sway
There are many instances in which you might want to use Sway. Below are just a few:
- When creating media-rich content - After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- When you want your reader to interact with content - Sway has the ability to include live content, such as tweets and embedded sites from numerous sources that the user can interact with, including Google maps and numerous other sites. See a list here.
- When you want to focus on content rather than formatting - You can choose from numerous canned designs, fonts, and navigation patterns or you can have Sway remix layouts for you.
- When a document is not required - Sways can be shared, but not exported.
- When you want to create tutorials, newsletters, or interactive reports
Office Sway in the Classroom and Beyond
There are many ways in which you can use Office Sway in the classroom, as well as for personal productivity. Take a look at a few examples below:
- Reimagine class lessons
- Recap class projects
- Provide supplemental material for parents
- Provide new accessible storytelling tools to students
- School projects
- Class reports
- Personal portfolios
Give It a Try
If you have never used Office Sway before, I challenge you to give it a try. Many tutorials exist, from how to create a newsletter and a digital story to how to create tutorials and presentations.