10 reasons to choose Sway as a tool for creating content in the classroom

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Análisis del artículo: “El papel de la organización escolar en el cambio educativo: la inercia de lo establecido”

Pensar un proceso de cambio educativo requiere pensar también la organización escolar, en el sentido que ésta constituye el entramado sobre el cual se desarrollar. La escuela es la comunidad organizada básica de educación y es a este nivel donde hay que tratar los problemas y las posibilidades de la innovación del currículum (Stenhouse, 1984, p. 222). A partir de la anterior afirmación podemos afirmar que el inicio de todo cambio, de toda innovación, debe darse en cada escuela, para posteriormente poder extrapolarse a toda la comunidad educativa y de esta manera, poder llegar a convertirse en un proceso de cambio sólido.

El artículo en cuestión de centra en el papel desempeñado por la Organización Escolar en los diferentes procesos de cambio educativo, con referencia a las reformas educativas de España durante los últimos años.

Hemos vivido un exceso de reformas educativas, teniendo en cuenta que cualquier análisis sobre la organización escolar no debe fragmentarla y de que es una construcción social, también sostenemos que en su interior se producen acciones que tienen que ver con lo político: con el poder, la ideología y los intereses. No es posible desde nuestra perspectiva crítica estudiar el cambio sin considerar que en la organización escolar existen diferentes conflictos, luchas, grupos con finalidades distintas ideológicamente establecidas, y lo mismo ocurre a nivel estatal con los diferentes partidos políticos que han gobernado hasta la actualidad.

Podemos afirmar que a día de hoy, el ámbito instituido se identifica con la temática organizativa. La organización escolar potencia que se dé continuidad y firmeza al camino que sigue la educación en nuestro país.

La organización escolar ha llegado a jugar un papel importante gracias a diversos factores de especial relevancia, como son la orientación de las políticas de cambio educativo, el olvido del contexto organizacional de la enseñanza en el análisis y en las propuestas de cambio o la tradición investigadora dominante en Organización Escolar. Entendemos a la organización escolar como un conjunto de partes interrelacionadas entre sí, donde cada parte manifiesta las características del todo. Desde una visión holística lo particular es portador de los principios que le subyacen y no se le puede entender como un espacio que goza de autonomía total, sino parcial.