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Have you ever looked into the use of Microsoft Sway within Blackboard? (It comes as part of the University’s Office365 suite of tools.)

Maybe you haven’t, however, if you do, you maybe excited at how easy it is to use and how engaging your old PowerPoint presentations could be?

I’ve tested Microsoft Sway using Blackboard and Mobile Learn,(Mobile Learn is being shelved by Blackboard at the beginning of August 2017, and will no longer be supported by Blackboard. we therefore encourage your students to use the Blackboard Student App) and it’s so much better from a users experience when viewing a Sway presentation. Bear with me.

The current process is as follows to engage students in PowerPoint presentations.

You upload a Powerpoint to Blackboard, students can download, make a copy and view/edit it on their mobile device via the Blackboard Learn app, but it just displays the powerpoint slide after slide after slide. This method, some say, may appear to be dated.

However, if you upload your Powerpoint into Sway,via Office365 and then get the embed code (The WHAT!! An embed code is simply a small piece of computer code, a snippet, that activates the Microsoft Sway, and displays it in the context of your web page.) you can embed the Sway into Blackboard with all of its modern animations, transitions and visual effects and it displays so much better, not just on the desktop but on mobile devices too.

Not only that, when you make any changes to the Sway in Office365 , they’ll be reflected in the user view instantly, so there’s no need to, as with PowerPoint files, delete from Blackboard, edit on your PC, then re-upload to Blackboard, recreate the link and check the link works.

Have a look at the the following video clip which was recorded on a mobile device and accessed using the Blackboard Student App. Within this Sway, I’ve embedded a Google map, a SoundCloud podcast, images and a YouTube clip.

 

**Note** At present MS Sways embedded in Blackboard will work on the Mobile Learn App but not the Blackboard Student app. We will investigate and report back to Blackboard. However, in this example, you’ll see I’ve included a link to the Sway within the Blackboard text box editor.

For more information on using Microsoft Sway, have a look at the Microsoft support here.

To log into Office365, click here.

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