Join Oliver Schinkten for an in-depth discussion in this video What is Sway?, part of Office 2016 for Educators.
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- [Teacher] In this video, we'll take a quick look at Sway, including what it can be used for, it's interface, and how you can get started using it. Sway is an excellent way to create interactive and engaging reports, presentations, tutorials, and more. Now I'm currently inside of the app, but you can also access the web-based version of Sway by navigating to www.sway.com. Right now, I'm on the homepage for Sway, and if I scroll down, you'll see that here, they give some ideas of how you can use it, they explain it, they show that it is available on a wide range of devices, and then also at the bottom, they show some featured Sways, which are excellent to take a look at.
Now I'm going to go back into the app. Whether you decide to sign up through the app or on the website, you'll be asked to sign in with your Microsoft account, which will then be associated with your Sway account. This is important because your account is where all the Sways that you create will be saved. From here, you'll be able to edit, access, and share them. When you first sign in to your account, there will be some sample Sways included by Microsoft. My suggestion is to check these out and learn from them. Play around with them and change the design, the layout, whatever.
And also, just understand how they're created by taking a look at the storyline. Right now I'm inside of my account, and although I have Sways in here which I've created, there are some of the Microsoft sample Sways still in here. Let's take a look at one of them. I'm going to click here on the Fabrikam Workshop Sway, and this will bring up the storyline. The storyline is where all of the content is entered in by the author. To the left, it shows the different cards that we're able to add in order to add this content. Now before we take a look at this, I'm going to click onto the right so we can take a look at this particular Sway.
This one says EXAMPLE: Fabrikam Workshop. And it is a newsletter created by Fabrikam Workshop. In this case, I can scroll down, it has an About Us with text, gives some testimonials, I like the images that they've entered in here, a What We Do. So they have these different sections. Now one thing is that at any time, you can change the design of a Sway that's been created. So in other words, if I click here on Design and click on a different one, it will automatically change this particular Sway to a different design.
Here it's not much different, but you'll notice on top that we have a slightly different look, there's a different background. Now the beautiful part about Sway is that you don't have to be artistic in order to use it. You simply enter in the content and it will create a sharp-looking Sway for you to use. Now again, at the top, I could change the design, go with a totally different one, let's say a darker template. If I click over here, you'll notice now that it's changed quite a bit, and in this one, I can scroll up and down.
However, by changing the layout, we can adjust this. If I click here, we have three different options. The first is to scroll vertically, which I was just doing, but we can also scroll horizontally. If I click this, it will automatically adjust the Sway that we're in. Here, I can now go through this horizontally. And then finally, at the bottom, we can choose a presentation mode, in which the Sway appears, and we're able to navigate through it by pressing on the arrows and going as if they were individual slides.
So you can choose the way that you want it to be. One other feature that I really like is the Remix! one, which will remix your Sway and give it a random design and a random layout. So when you do this, and I clicked it now, there are some times that you get something you absolutely love and sometimes, and in this case, you get ones that you absolutely do not love. So if we don't like that one, we could click on Remix! And it will keep bringing up new ones. Now you might wonder why every time there is this wood background that appears, and it doesn't change no matter when I change the design and layout.
Well let's open the storyline back up. And the reason for that is that the author has entered in a wood background, so they've told it that they want that wood to be there as a background. Now let's take a look at the different cards that were added. They added an About Us heading card, they entered a text card in which they typed this in, they've entered in some different testimonials by using text cards. Now off to the left, you'll see the different types of cards we can use. You can have a heading, you can enter in text, you can include an image, a video, a tweet, you can embed in something from a website, and then you can also group them the way that you want to.
So it's really easy to add your content into here, and then at the end, it will simply create a sharp-looking Sway. So I'm going to go back to my Sways and on this homepage, and when we're done with a Sway, let's take a look at what we can do. On each of the different Sways, in the upper right corner, there's an icon with three dots, and if I click here, it gives me the option to play or show the Sway, I can share it, I can duplicate it, or I can trash it. Now in this case, I'm going to click on Share, and then it gives us the option to share it via Facebook, we can share it on Twitter, we can share it as a link, and we can even add authors.
Be careful if you add an author to it because that author will be able to make changes to that Sway. The way that I've shared them most commonly has been through the link, and when I click here, it gives me this link, and because it is stored in my Sway account, which is in the cloud, I can share that URL with students and they will have access to it. Now within it, there can be interactive variables, so you could have a video within the Sway that students can watch, you can have links which they can click on, so on and so forth. So hopefully this gives you a better idea of what Sway is and how you can create one.
Now let's take a look at some recommended ways for educators to use this program.
- Creating effective and engaging presentations
- Creating flipped classes with Office Mix
- Empowering students with PowerPoint
- Creating tutorials, newsletters, and flipped classes with Sway
- Tracking student progress in Excel
- Using Word templates
- Creating visual representations in Word
- Using OneDrive for collaboration and storage
- Creating modules and flipped classes using OneNote
- Using Outlook, Docs.com, Skype, and SharePoint