Sway

Completed

Sway is a presentation program that allows users to combine text and imagery to create websites, presentations, and newsletters. Sway’s low barrier of entry democratizes design for educators and learners to create beautiful storytelling without extensive graphic design experience or high-demand software.

What is Sway to learners?

  • Presentation tool with easy-to-use graphics, allowing learners’ creative minds to showcase themselves rather than be hindered by lofty software know-how
  • Launchpad for capturing their experiences, with built-in search tools and suggestions, whether about their science fair project or their high-school identity

What is Sway to educators?

  • Digital platform to assign low-barrier work to learners that results in an easily shareable product
  • Externalization option for self-expression in their teaching plan, whether it’s to capture the life of Edgar Allen Poe, or even to share progress with other educators in a professional learning environment

“I use technology to transform my learners into creators and pupils who have a say, express ideas, and share them with the world."

-Marie-Helene Fasquel, Educator at Nelson Mandela International High School

Self-Awareness

  • Learners determine their voice, their message, and what matters to them as they design their story, understanding themselves more as they seek to help others understand.
  • Learners who struggle with self-expression suddenly have easy access to externalize their experiences to share with their peers, their educators, and the world.

Screenshot of I Am Going to The Colosseum, a sample Sway by Ability Guidebooks.

In Making the world more accessible with Sway Brett Bigham, 2014 Oregon State Teacher of the Year, talks about how Sway has increased access for all learners, especially those diagnosed with autism who may have anxiety traveling to new places.

Relationship Skills

  • Learners work collaboratively on a Sway project together, externalizing their ideas and combining their stories seamlessly. 
  • Learners easily communicate their stories to others, cultivating empathy, understanding, and class culture.

Explore it

Sway is a professional tool used in various industries around the world, and learners’ mastery of it paves the way for them to not only share their knowledge with the class, but practice showcasing themselves for their careers at large. First and foremost, however, Sway is a storytelling tool. Investigate the resources below to find one or two that demonstrates how to use Sway to amplify learners’ ability to share themselves.

Access Sway to get started.

Digital storytelling with Microsoft Sway: Take this module to get started with Microsoft Sway in the class, learning everything from basic set-up to more advanced features.

Create, Design, and Share Your Story: Access this video tutorial for a visual learning unit on how to use Sway, capitalizing on the built-in template and imagery features embedded within.

Sway’s connection to SEL lies within its ultimate function as a storytelling tool. Learners, educators, and even parents and families are drawn together when creators have the ease of embedded functions and graphics to equip their imagination. Learners create polished, professional presentations that empower them to share themselves and their expertise, even those for whom tech know-how was previously a barrier.

Check out one of the links below to explore further what Sway offers. Which of these ideas sticks out as one that complements current teaching styles?

Educator Sways 

Check out this post from the Microsoft blog, full of features and links to educators around the world using Sway, from capturing knowledge of quadratic functions in graphing to training other educators on internet safety.

Photograph of Sway displayed on a phone, small tablet, and large tablet.

Getting started with Sway 

Explore the resources within this site to find how to use Sway with 2nd graders, and even to send out polished parental communications! Inviting community into the class is an excellent opportunity to allow learners to showcase their SEL skills development.

Reflect

Review takeaways and learnings about how Sway supports SEL in class. Go back over your module graphic organizer and note any ideas for implementation and resources to come back to. Use the following questions to reflect on practice and ideas.

  • How does Sway give a voice to thoughtful, less outspoken learners who desire to share their story? 
  • How does Sway capture and focus more gregarious learners and their big ideas?
  • How does Sway enhance an existing project or presentation in class?
  • How does Sway elevate educator voice, whether to communicate with parents, other colleagues, or simply share an aspect of yourself with learners?