App of the Month – Sway

The App for April is Sway.

Sway logoSway logo

What is it?

Sway is one of Office 365’s newer apps aimed at creating online presentations. These online presentations can be anything that you make it out to be from newsletters to interactive reports or personal portfolios. Sway uses an online, and desktop platform to create presentations, using the drag-and-drop mechanism. Sway also provides a mobile platform off iOS (unfortunately, Android is not supported.)

Why this app?

Sway makes presentations interactive, colourful, dynamic and most importantly, different from what you’d expect from PowerPoint. The presentations are interactive in the way where they invite swiping and tapping; taking full advantage of touch screen monitors and mobile devices. Sway makes their design look beautiful by giving you preset design templates so you can build around a design that already looks nice. We have all become very accustomed to PowerPoint presentations; there is only so much that you can do with transitions and effects in PowerPoint before your slides become stylistically excessive. With Sway, your presentation will stand out from others by having the dynamic and interactive element flow fluidly with your content.

How does it work?

  1. Sign up with your Microsoft account or sign up for a Microsoft account at https://www.sway.com/
  2. If you wish to use the mobile version of Sway, download the Sway app on the Apple store. Microsoft also offers a desktop app for Sway on the Microsoft Store. (Android not available.)
  3. Start a new Sway by clicking the “+ Create New” button.
  4. Give your Sway a title and add a background image if you would like a background for your text./li>
  5. Use the rich text editor to add emphasis, accents or links to your text.
  6. Add another card, which can be another text item, image, media, or group of items.
  7. Organize your cards by drag and dropping your cards into its desired progression.
  8. Change the style of your Sway by clicking on the Design tab, and clicking the Styles tab in the top-right corner. Here, you can choose how your Sway will move (vertically, horizontally, or through slides) and the look and feel of your Sway.
  9. Test out your Sway by clicking the Play button in the top-right. Next to the Play button, you can click Share to share your sway with others to view it or collaborate with you on your Sway.

What is Sway?:

What next?

Design your next lecture using Sway to show your students a different style doing presentations. Experiment with the interactive functions that Sway has, such as: stacks of items, comparison of items, and slideshows, which can all be found under the Group item tab. Have your students create Sways as an assignment as a new medium for PowerPoint presentations or portfolios. The Sway app is available for download on the Apple store or for your desktop computer on the Microsoft Store. (Mobile Android app not available.) While Sway works on mobile, creating your Sway works best on your web browser at https://www.sway.com or on the desktop app.

What do you think?

Tell us if you like this app, or if you don’t, tell us what app you use instead. Figured out another way of integrating the app into learning? Tweet us @UBC_ETS! We’d love to hear from you.