I had the pleasure of meeting Claire Lanyon a few years ago and we’ve kept in touch via LinkedIn as she’s gone on to do some incredible roles with the Auckland War Memorial Museum and more recently with the University of Auckland who I previously had some engagements with whilst supporting New Zealand education customers.
I was thrilled, therefore, when she reached out to me this morning to share an amazing use of Microsoft Sway to create an online digital gallery to share some of their taonga (treasures) during a time when many physical galleries are closed or restricted due to COVID19. I’ll share more below about what Sway is, but you can see the example by clicking here or interacting with the embedded Sway below:
Speaking with Claire, the University of Auckland’s library will continue to release other online galleries using Sway, with upcoming exhibits listed here.
These online gallery exhibits are being created by the Special Collections at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland
What is Sway?
I used to jokingly refer to Microsoft OneNote as “the hidden jewel in the Microsoft Office suite” because it was always there but few used it originally, and to some extent Sway might be the hidden jewel in the online Office365 suite as many have not discovered how powerful it is. If you’re brand new then perhaps the best way to describe Sway is, aptly, to use a visual:
The best place to get started is with support is at Sway help & learning – Microsoft Support but the actual home page of Sway is found at https://sway.office.com and I’ve seen education customers using Sway in a variety of ways including:
- School newsletters home to parents
- Information evenings about the school
- Student projects for sharing with parents or communities outside of the school
- Creating online resumes
- Digital galleries of student work
One of features that everyone loves is the adaptive design of Sway – you build it once but it will automatically reformat based on the device the user views it through: desktop, tablet or mobile. With the easy embedding of rich media content from the web into the Sway, it’s a favourite of anyone wishing to create engaging and interactive content that can be easily distributed and viewed from any device.
You do need an Office365 account to use Sway.