Using Sway in Primary Schools

Last week we featured a guest post from Jonathan Wylie looking at Sway, and this week we’re following up with another piece that ponders how primary school teachers can utilise Sway as part of their role in educating and engaging young minds. This post comes from Hélène Fyffe, an undergraduate starting her final year at Edinburgh Napier University, who spent a year on placement with Microsoft UK Education as part of her course.

At primary level, I think it's fair to say that one of teachers' principle roles is to inspire young learners and sow the all-important seeds of curiosity to explore and learn. We all know how well young children respond to homework or class work that involves a practical and creative element, whether that's using role play to understand a new concept, or drawing illustrations to develop writing skills.

Technology is right up there with acting and colouring-in crayons, due to its 'fun' association and familiarity. I'm therefore very eager to see how the latest Office app, Sway will fare with primary learners.

Create presentations using Sway

Sway will essentially enable students to illustrate and express their ideas in a fun, interactive way and then very simply share them with their classmates, teacher and parents. What makes the app so different is that there are no page breaks or splits. The work is composed on a rolling canvas which gives a luxurious quality experience, which I would describe as the 'e-experience' of flicking through a coffee table book, utterly applicable for touch devices and presentations. It feels less 'rigid' or official than a PowerPoint and would be ideal for a primary student presenting an impressive project piece to the class.

Helene - Sway in primary


Click here to see the full Sway presentation

Students will love the simplicity the app provides for creating beautiful layouts and designs, which will unknowingly distract them from spending lots of time adjusting illustration and image formatting that they might do using a PowerPoint slide or Word document, thereby channelling them to focus more on the writing of the content and their delivery of the presentation. I really believe that the professional appearance of the app could give young learners more pride in their work, and more confidence to speak in front of their peers!

Opportunity for you and your class to shape the new app

Currently you can sign up for the preview of Sway. Microsoft are offering a fun opportunity for you and your class to get involved with the development of the app, as Microsoft developers are looking to include your ideas and thoughts in the final build of the app. What a fun potential project to set your class!

Look out for more snippets on how Sway could be used in Education.

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