Soldiers’ Life on the Frontlines – WWI

This semester my EdMethods students used Microsoft Sway for their final lesson design projects. This document-based lesson by Gabriel Bruneau asks student to use original source documents as prompts to reflect on soldiers’ experience in WWII.

How should our society view military service and its experiences in times of war?

Essential Question

After you read these documents you are going to create a thesis statement in response to the essential question. Be sure to collect evidence from the text to support your thesis statement. When doing this consider whether the evidence you are choosing appeals to a reader through ethos, pathos or logos.

For a direct link to the Sway click here
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Image credit: British soldiers of World War One – The 21st Battalion, London Regiment (1st Surrey Rifles) Flickr/ DesertBlooms

Equality on the Front, but What Waits at Home?

This semester my EdMethods students used Microsoft Sway for their final lesson design projects. This document-based lesson by Jana Peters asks student to put themselves in the shoes of an African American soldier returning to the US from WWI. Original source documents from black soldiers like Henry Johnson and Horace Pippin are used as the basis for creation of reflective journal entries.

“The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost… He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American…”

~ W.E.B Dubois

For a direct link to the Sway click here
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Westward to Equality: Frontier Life and the Suffrage Movement

This semester my EdMethods students used Microsoft Sway for their final lesson design projects. This document-based lesson by Jordan Bonnell explores the essential question:

Did the Western Migration in the mid 19th century draw women to fight for equality as they obtained more responsibility?

~ Jordan Bonnell

For a direct link to the Sway click here
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American Reactions to the Vietnam War

This semester my EdMethods students used Microsoft Sway for their final lesson design projects. This document-based lesson by Nick Krautscheid explores American reactions to the Vietnam War through a variety of source material – popular music, news coverage, letters and videos.

For a direct link to the Sway click here
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Digital Storytelling with Sway

I’m always on the lookout for tools that make it easy for students to be digital storytellers. I just took Microsoft’s Sway for a test ride and I am impressed. (Sway is part of the Office365 suite and free for students and teachers.)

See student projects made with Sway

Here’s my first creation – “Progress and Poverty in Industrial America.” Direct link to Project.

I found Sway to be very intuitive and I figured it out without much need to go the Help section. I could easily add images, text and variety of digital content from my drive or other external sources. A built in search tools allows users to limit searches to Creative Commons. Once content is selected, the source citation (with link) is automatically added to your creation – a great feature for students working on their digital hygiene skills. 

There are some styling options that let you explore a few different looks. With some trial and error I eventually got the look and interaction I wanted. Sway has a long list of embed options that add external content to it’s native tools. I’ll be exploring those next. 

Sway has built-in collaboration options so teams of creators can work on the same project. Sharing tools make it easy to promote your work across social media and as you can see here – it’s easy to embed your Sway in WordPress. Designers can set permissions to allow viewers to export, duplicate, copy or print. Or set the project to view only. It even has a built in “Accessibility Checker” analyzes your project and shows where alternative text is needed.

Sway projects are responsive and look great on desktop, tablet or smartphone. Android and iOS apps allow you to design or edit via your smartphone. It provides minimal analytics. But one interesting aspect is it sorts your viewers by “Glanced”, “Quick Read” and “Deep Read.”

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