Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Using Sway

As an English/Language Arts teacher, I find that I typically have my students writing in one, at times boring, format- the typical word processed paper.  Writing encompasses over half of my state standards and a large portion of the standardized test, so having students practice this as often as possible is a necessary evil.  Students quickly type responses to prompts or questions and then I read through them, grade/respond, and hand them back (either virtually or on actual paper- archaic, I know).  Thanks to Sway, I'm finding that this process is much more enjoyable for both my students and myself!

Recently, I have been having my Humanities students write their "responses" in Word within Office 365.  After they have completed a series, these students then add these "responses" to a Sway and create a digital newspaper, complete with images.

Not only does this break up the monotony of grading multiple assignments written on the same topic, it also adds a higher level of understanding on the part of the students because they have to consider visual appeal, add images, and make design choices that they may not have done previously.  Additionally, the ability to share when using Sway has been invaluable.  Students can very easily see each other's work by sharing the link in their OneNote Class Notebooks, emailing it to their parents, and even sharing information online with the world! 

I created a very basic Office Mix to introduce Sway to my students.  They watched the tutorial and were able to complete their first Sway (by copying and pasting from Word in Office 365) within minutes.  Students had very few questions and really enjoyed the 'remix' and design features.  I am definitely using this tool throughout the remainder of the school year!