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Learning to use Sway for community projects

Posted August 14th 2020 by Liz

Blog header, reading "Go on, give it a go, and connect your community! A blog on learning to use Sway"

“Go On, Give it a Go, and Connect your Community”!

Using new tools for community-building

Local activist Kenny Mallard, a member of the Eaglesham History Society Committee, was telling me about how he uses a free Microsoft application called “Sway” to produce high quality presentations to share online. He swears it is really easy!

Sway is being called the newer and friendlier alternative to PowerPoint, even though it’s been around for about 5 years!

The first time Ken dipped his toe in the water with Sway was to produce a digital exhibition called “Art in Madness” for his friend and colleague Dr Maureen Park’s exhibition about the pioneering use of art as a therapy.  He just thought to himself “Why don’t I try that? What have I got to lose?”.

On the back of this success, Ken then used it in a project with North Ayrshire Council’s Professional Learning Academy to create online bitesize resources on literacy and numeracy to be accessed by early years’ practitioners, teachers, probationers and student teachers.

More recently he’s created some Sway presentations with a history theme: Short History of Eaglesham, an online version of the Eaglesham Heritage Trail Guide and a Short History of Loch Lomond Steamers.  Ken has shared the idea to the teaching staff in Williamwood High School as Sway could be used for online teaching material.

Creating using Sway

Ken said “I particularly like Sway because it produces high impact presentations, straightforward to use, no need to have a web-site to host them and can be accessed from anywhere you can get an internet connection.  You can install it on your PC or log into Microsoft Office.  “It’s really straightforward to use and you only require a link to send to people”.  He advised changing the default settings for each Sway presentation so that viewers can’t make changes or duplicate.  Ken also said you can export the presentations to pdf or Word and also invite someone else to edit if you wish

“The only limitation is your imagination”.  Thanks for sharing with us Ken!

“Art in Madness” –

Short History of Eaglesham –

Eaglesham Heritage Trail –

Loch Lomond Steamers – (Dumbarton Castle Society were so impressed with this that they asked if they could share it.  They received funding to help restore The Skylark, a little boat used to repatriate troops from Dunkirk)

You can get started with Sway by visiting the web-site at:

Our Families Wellbeing resources also include guides for using technology to stay connected with your communities and friends.

Families Wellbeing resources

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