Teacher Review For Office Sway

An alternative to Google Slides, Powerpoint or Prezi awaits!

Jonathan K.
Technology coordinator
Jerudong International School, Brunei
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
Microsoft Sway is a tool for students to be able to share their ideas on a particular subject, be it a research project or even a story. It works across devices and is hosted solely online. It has been described as the natural successor to Microsoft PowerPoint. You create content on particular 'cards' and then order these in the same way you would order slides in a normal presentation. I have used it with children explaining about a 'Top 10' of their own choosing. Collaboration options are great meaning children can work on a Sway together. You will need to play with it a fair bit before using it with your class as it is not massively intuitive. But worth the effort to create something a bit different from the 'norm'. Sharing options mean Sways can easily be embedded anywhere you are able, as long as the privacy options are selected correctly. Otherwise you will find that no-one will be able to read your Sway and receive an error message. I say this from previous experience!
My Take
It is easy to tweak the look and feel of a presentation by hitting the 'Remix' button and there is deliberately a move away from being able to choose a million font styles and formatting options - something that has got to be a good thing when you're trying to focus on content from your learners! It is possible to upload your own images but the default methods of searching are a bit clunky initially. I would say Sway is far from intuitive, at least to begin with, and it is important, as with any project, that you're clear as to the outcome. In Sway it is easy to get sidetracked! The options for presenting your 'cards' can lead to some creative layouts, although it is fiddly to remember to select the correct size for each photo to get the desired effect. But as another tool in your arsenal, alongside the presentation stalwarts, Sway has got to be worth at least a look.