Microsoft Sway is an excellent tool for creating tutorials because it allows you to insert many different forms of multimedia and use them to customize your final product. You can include descriptive text, instructional videos, screenshots, and images to help student clearly understand what you are trying to teach them.
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- [Narrator] In this video we'll take a look at how we can use Microsoft Sway to create and share a digital tutorial with our students. Now during the course of every semester there are times when you have to explain to students how to do something. This may be how to write a formal letter, how to collect a sample for biology, or perhaps how to use a particular website or web tool. How do you relay this information to your students? I know that from experience I've had some very helpful tutorials, as well as some very confusing tutorials. Sway allows you to create helpful ones for several reasons.
Let's take a look. I'm first going to enter one of these sample Sways that was included and created by Microsoft. Inside of here, it will first open up that Sway, and we will see the Storyline. This is where all of the content was added by the author. They created a heading, some text. They added images. So if I click to the right, we can see this tutorial that they've created titled, "How to Start a Sway: Learn more by scrolling down." If I start to scroll down, I think there are several factors that make this a really powerful tutorial.
First of all, they have descriptive text, and they did use bold letters to emphasize parts that they wanted to stand out. Also, they used images that show you exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and this can be extremely helpful. Down below they showed you some of the final product: how you could stack different pictures, and here I can interact with that and the top picture will go to the back, showing me the next one; and also how they structured it, so in other words it's not just continuous text, but they do have different sections such as Tip #1: Understanding Storyline, Preview, and Play.
And if I keep scrolling down, you'll notice that it is well structured. I think this is a great tutorial. At the bottom they also included some additional videos that you can watch if you want more tutorials on this. So, I think this is powerful that within this tutorial they included videos that as a student I can interact with. I can click here and begin watching that on YouTube. If I want to I could make it full screen and learn how to create a Sway.
So let's say that I wanted to create my own tutorial. How do I do this? Well, first, I'm going to navigate back to My Sways. And at the top I'm going to click on Create New. This will allow me to create a new Sway from scratch. And let's say that I want to teach my students how to share a Google document. So right away I'm going to have a heading, "How to share a Google Document." Next, I can click Add in order to add a card, and here I can add either a heading, text, image, or I can choose from any one of the different cards on the left-hand side.
Now, I'm going to add a text box. That adds it here, and in here I'm going to paste some text that I already had copied. So I'm going to go like this and separate it. And now if we and I click on the right-hand side, you'll see that it says, "How to share a Google Document." It says, "In this tutorial, we'll take a look at "how to share a Google Document with others. "Once we are inside of the document, "you will need to click on the blue share button "in the upper right-hand corner." Now let's say that I wanted to emphasize "blue share button." If that's the case, I can go back to my Storyline and I'm going to highlight "blue share button" and click Emphasize.
And this will make it bold in most cases, or perhaps a different color, so that it stands out for the audience. Now after this I could click + and add in an image that maybe shows exactly what I want them to do. Now this is actually a tutorial that I've already created. So I'm going to close this one out, navigate back to My Sways, and then let's take a look at the one I have here titled, "Sharing your Google Document." So, here, you can see that I created a heading, "Sharing your Google Document." I have some text.
I entered a picture that was actually a screen capture that I had that I used and added an arrow to show them exactly where they need to click. Now let's go look at the right-hand side. Now remember that I didn't design this. It was Sway that designed it after I entered the content. If I wanna change my design, I can easily do that. If I wanna choose a different layout, I can do that. Right now it is scrolling vertically, but I could have it scroll horizontally or play as kind of a presentation. I want mine to scroll vertically, so I'm going to keep it the same.
Now, I like the way this looks. So it says, "Sharing your Google Document: "In this tutorial, we'll take a look at how to share "a Google Document with others." And I start to tell them they need to click on the blue share button, and it has an image showing them exactly that. Now you'll notice that this is a new one, so I didn't emphasize "blue share button." If I wanted to do that, I could easily go in here, highlight that, click Emphasize, and now back in the document you'll see that that is now in bold.
As I scroll down, it says that a pop-up box will appear, and I included an image that I took from a screen capture of that pop-up box, and so on and so forth. So if you go down, it says once you're finished, and gives some more information. Now, this is a tutorial that I'm happy with: it has descriptive text, it's well organized, and it gives visuals telling the student what they need to do inside of this. My suggestion is to think proactively and create some well designed tutorials that include instructions with headings, steps, images, and more.
When teaching, if you find yourself answering the same questions over and over about how to do something, consider creating a tutorial with Sway on the topic so that when more students ask you can simply send them that Sway. Not only will this save you time, but it will also provide the students with a high quality tutorial. Once I wanna share it, I can go up to My Sways, and, for instance, the Sharing your Google Document, I can click on the icon with three dots inside of there, click on share, and in this case I'm going to click on the link.
I'll copy this link. And then, I can navigate to a website, paste in this URL, and like that my students will have access to this tutorial. I highly suggest taking advantage of Microsoft Sway and creating tutorials inside of it.
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- Using OneDrive for collaboration and storage
- Creating modules and flipped classes using OneNote
- Using Outlook, Docs.com, Skype, and SharePoint