Innovation in the field of education cannot be limited to introducing ICT to the students just by using a digital presentation created by a teacher. If we want to go a step further, we should stop promoting passive learning. Students must stop being a co-driver, and become the driver and take charge of their learning.
Traditionally, when a student didn’t know something, he asked his parents and/or teachers. However, currently it is much faster and easier to lay your hands on your mobile phone and look for the information on the internet. If children and adolescents are autonomous in their real life, why do we have to give them the well chewed content in schools? Is it not reasonable that we show them how to search for information and content of a high quality?
One of the ways that we can approach the active methodologies, where the student is the real protagonist, is through the creation of content. This year we are carrying out a project called #ContentCreators with the students of Vocational Education of the school La Devesa in Carlet and the first experiences are excellent, achieving greater motivation and involvement of students in the teaching-learning process. But, what is the ideal tool for creating content by students?
Do you know PowerPoint or Prezi? Of course you do, I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve cast a hand at these tools to create your presentations. However, both have shortcomings when it comes to viewing them on different devices or platforms. To occupy this space, Microsoft offers us a new application called Sway.
I’m going to give 10 reasons why you should choose Sway as a tool for creating content in the classroom.
Online tool: Integrated with Office365, so we can use it and have access to our creations from any device, any operating system and any browser.
Free: The only requirement for this application is a Microsoft account, that we can create for free, then you are able to access it and enjoy all its features
Import PDF, Word, and PowerPoint: Traditionally a large number of teachers have chosen the way of creating their own material. If you have your lessons in Word, PDF or PowerPoint, you can import them to Sway, so quickly we will have our content on the tool and you will only be doing some finishing touches to format it.
Co-author: Nowadays, one of the most important skills in finding employment is teamwork. Sway allows us to work co-authored (up to 10 profiles) on our creations in a collaborative way.
Efficient: Sway allows us to add content from different sources like Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Bing, etc. directly, without exiting the tool. In case we don’t have too much time, Sway helps us with the option “remix” that is responsible for searching for a format randomly adapted to our presentation.
Easy and secure sharing: With a simple click you can get a link to share your presentation. But not before choosing if we want to share it privately with our Organization’s staff, with anyone or if we prefer that it appears in search engines. Another interesting option is to embed our creations on a blog, website or even in another sway.
Adapts to different devices: Over the course of a day, a teacher may need to work on a presentation using multiple devices, therefore, Sway is in charge of intelligently adapting the best format of our creation, in order to display it on a computer, a tablet or a mobile pone.
Creative Commons: Images that we find with the search engine of Sway are free of copyright so we don’t have to worry about litigation.
Orientation: If we intend to use a style that is similar to a web page, we will use the vertical orientation. To tell stories or show projects, the best option is the horizontal format and to work with presentations we can use the slideshow mode.
Team specialized in education: One of the aspects which gives added value to this tool, is that it is backed by a team of experts in the field of education. But what really makes it different to any other app is the feedback from teachers who are using it in the classroom. In the same way that occurs with OneNote, they appreciate our opinion and the opportunity of using a tool for teachers created by teachers.