Sway – The star of your 2015 Classroom

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Bored of using the same old presentations? Want a new way to share information with students? Why not take a presentation overhaul by diving into Office Sway–  It’s free, doesn’t require installation and works on all browsers and devices.

What is Sway ?

Sway is a fresh new way to show content. I think of it as a one page website in which you can add a variety of communication modes. When published it can be shared with any device anywhere in the world. As an added bonus it can be embedded into your other sites to become part of a larger presentation or portfolio.

10 ways to use Sway

Sway is 100% teacher friendly and can be used in variety of different ways. Check out my top ten ideas below to get you thinking of ways to use Sway in your teaching.

  1. Presentations – Teachers and students can use Sway as a presentation tool for learning
  2. eTextbooks – create your own eTextbook with links, information, videos, images and questions. You can then direct students to different website, using Sway as the base learning pathway
  3. Picture Books – get students to create a storybook using Sway
  4. Experiment and Research Reports – use sway to show research, experiment videos and results. You could even make your next science report using Sway
  5. Artwork or Multimedia Portfolio – Use Sway as a product portfolio to show a number of your own creations. Spend some time to explain what your project was, and why you created it
  6. Dictionary – Sway would make n awesome picture dictionary for English as Another Language or Language Other Than English students. Set groups the task to create dictionaries complete with audio tracks (uploaded to sound cloud)
  7. Book and Film Reviews – This multimodal tool makes a wonderful platform for students to create literacy focussed tasks such as reviews and analysis pieces
  8. Professional Learning Resource – Create a Sway for professional learning by bringing together links, help, examples and advice for teacher colleagues with which you are working
  9. Flipped Learning content delivery – use Sway to deliver your unit of study. Bring all the content together and allow students to view it at home in one space. Share the link, and you’re done
  10. School Showcases – Bring the best of your school together, simply choose images, text and video then embed your Sway on the front page of your school website. What a cool new way to share your school’s success.

Examples of Sway in Education

Some of the Microsoft in Education Expert Educators have been considering ways in which they could use Sway in their schools. Check out some of their sway masterpieces below!

21st Century Learning Design

By Pip Cleaves – Microsoft in Education Master Trainer, NSW Australia


OneNote – 10 Things I hate about you

By Matthew O’Brien – Microsoft in Education Expert Education, Queensland, Australia


OneNote – The Connected Learner

By Tamara Sullivan – Microsoft in Education Expert Educator – Queensland, Australia


Teaching South Australian Students ‘How to Learn’ skills using 21st Century Learning Design

By Michelle Pudney – Microsoft in Education Expert Educator – South Australia


Get Started with Sway

  • Sign in using your Microsoft account (you could use a hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com etc) to the Sway website
  • Create a new Sway – you’ll soon see the below interface pop up
  • Give your Sway a name – Add a title and image and click on the small cross to add a new content area.  Think of these areas as pages on a PowerPoint file
  • Add some content to your Sway – When you click on the + Sign you will be given the option to add a ‘Heading, Text, Media, Upload’. Choose the appropriate content
  • Arrange your section – Use the Layout Button and then the Change Layout area to move around the parts within your sections
  • Add Media – When you add media you have a choice of a number of sources. Some may or may not work with a filtered school environment. If this is the case, you can just choose to upload your own content. As you can see below, you can bring media across from a number of sources. All this media applicable for use under creative commons
  • Choose the Mood of your Sway – in the top right hand of the interface is an area where you can choose themes and fonts for your Sway. Navigate through ‘Mood’ to choose the theme you like, or choose ‘remix’ for Sway to suggest a theme to you
  • Publish your Sway – Once done, choose ‘share’ and get the link for your Sway. You can then share this with anyone in anyway you would usually share. Options for Embedding or sharing through social media are also in this area.

Check out this simple tutorial for creating sway. Why not show this video to your students, and let them explore and create in Sway themselves?


The way I see it, Sway is free, doesn’t require installation, and can be used on any browser – with so many uses in the classroom, I just love it! What will you and your students Sway this year?

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