So I was watching my adventurous 10 year old have her first tackle of Sway… a very cool online platform that allows kids and grown ups to create adaptable visual presentations that automatically morph to suit the device or viewer. Being supremely aware that kids need to play to learn, I watched her explore for a while, fluffing around with colours, image size, sequence and palates. Lots of technical learning was happening but after an hour she realised that after all of her exploring, the presentation on Ancient Greece was looking a little dog’s breakfasty.
So I took my little tech wiz right back to the basic principles of text design- Planning. We pulled out the classic post it notes and started to create a structure- intro, main topics, and conclusion. Basic text structure stuff- Pretty simple, but it helped her get a sequence. What was interesting is that we had to tease out the difference between the IDEAS she wanted to communicate and the HOW of communicating her ideas.
Eg. THE IDEA- Where was Ancient Greece in time and place- THE HOW- Timeline and Map.
ORANGE = Key Points in Structure, YELLOW = How I will Communicate on Sway, WHITE = Cue Cards for my speech
The end result was pretty cool. I particularly like the blend of hand sketched maps (she’s 10 and likes to draw), digitally constructed artefacts (online timeline) and a bit of Scratch programming in the mix (see the Greek Gods bit). I also thought this was a particularly effective use of the Image compare features of Sway, showing Democracy and Theatre at work in the Ancient and Modern Worlds. VERDICT: A pretty cool bit of thinking and designing and only 10!