Monday, 30 January 2017

Starting from a topic in Sway

We first started talking about Sway as an easy-to-use presentation tool in the Star Classroom training. It was introduced as an alternative to MS PowerPoint, but unlike some of the other flashy online presentation tools on the market, it actually allows you to upload a PowerPoint you have already created. So within the space of a minute, you can upgrade a presentation to an online, sharable, professional looking resource that looks great on any device - especially interactive whiteboards and smartphones!

One feature of Sway that I have only recently discovered, is the ability to produce a pre-built Sway from just the title of a topic. For example, you give it a title (i.e. History of the Roman Empire) and Sway will build a great looking presentation outline, filled with suitable headings and pictures, which you can then add your own content to. I can see this being used in two ways, although I am sure more ideas will come from it.

  1. Planning a lesson from scratch - if you are preparing materials from scratch, a lengthy part of the process can be setting up the structure of a presentation - title, headings, pictures, formatting etc. In Sway, if you start with a topic already in mind, it will build an outline for you, you can then add more content or take out any of the parts that aren’t relevant.

  1. Student research task - in this scenario, you have set your class a task to undertake some research and have asked them to prepare materials in the form of a presentation. The first part of the task is usually dedicated to making sure the presentation looks good. Using Sway, all students can start from a topic by writing in the same topic title, which means everyone has the same starting point with a pre-built outline - minimising the time they would usually spend doing it.



If you are interested in learning more about Sway - here is a help guide to get you started.

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