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BFI Helps Microsoft Pilot New Storytelling App

BFI Helps Microsoft Pilot New Storytelling App

by Alaina / Mar 25, 2015

The Bureau of Fearless ideas has partnered with Microsoft to pilot a new app and authoring platform called Sway.

Building a set of digital literacy skills is increasingly relevant as young people navigate smart phones, tablets and computers throughout their day. In an era of information overload and media saturation, it is critical that we empower young people to filter through the noise to tell their stories.

Sway is an app that allows BFI to think about how we blend reading, writing and speaking literacies with new digital literacies across text, image, animation and video all in a cloud-based platform. It is an exciting opportunity for us to think about how stories are reimagined and shared in digital form, while placing young people at the center of the authoring experience.

Through this partnership, BFI has been able to bring volunteer Brick Maier onto our staff to make the most of this unique technology. Brick has worked with us previously on moviemaking workshops, and currently runs the Digital Storytelling Club during after-school tutoring on Mondays. 

Not only have you put Sway to good use, you are also stretching the limits of how it can be used. I loved seeing the stop-motion video, the liberal use of media sources from all over the web, and the use of tablets. Of course, those are all gravy; you already won me over once with the store’s teleporter, and again with the work you are doing with the kids.

– Oren Trutner, a software engineer in the Sway team at Microsoft

Below we've included links to all the Sway projects created so far by students and tutors at BFI. We'll be updating this list as we discover more exciting ways to incorporating Sway into our programming. 

Humans of Greenwood May 2015
Interviewing and Photography workshop led by David Rzegocki
+ Click here to view the Humans of Greenwood Sway

Sense of Spring May 2015
Exploration and poetry workshop led by Joely Johnson Mork; Sway by Brick Maier and students
+ Click here to view the Sense of Spring summary Sway and individual student Sway pages

Martian Minded Survival April 2015
Survival Guide writing workshop led by Noelle Hoffman and Brick Maier
+ Mars: Getting There and Getting Around, by Miles and Evelyn
Finding and Storing Water on Mars, by Kelly, Lula and Tuyetlam
+ How to Grow Food on Mars, by Athena and Anthonio
+ How to Get a Home on Mars in 2 Seconds, by Connor and Avi

Letters to Michelle Obama (Or Someone Else Important) April 2015
Persuasive letter-writing workshop led by Brooke Matson; Sway by Brick Maier and students
+ Click here to view a workshop video and student Sway projects

Dwarf Planet Pride Day, March 2015
Debate workshop led by Alison Jennings; Celebration led by Justin Allan-Spencer; Sway by Brick Maier and Tillie
+ Click here to view the debate Sway
+ Click here to view the full Sway

Time Travel Through Greenwood, March 2015
Workshop led by Jennie Shortridge; Sway projects created by students, compiled by Brick Maier
Click here to view the group Sway
+ Click here to see the Sway page created by Microsoft Sway employee David Lee
Student Sway projects: 
+ Alex N. 
Alex T.

Radio Writing: Are You On My Wavelength, February 2015
Workshop led by Troy Diggs; Sway created by Brick Maier
Click here to view this project

Celebrating Our Cultures: From Somewhere Else to Here, February 2015
Workshop led by Margaret Chasan; Sway created by Brick Maier
Click here to view this project

Once Upon a Shirt or Skirt, January 2015
Workshop led by Angela Jane Fountas; Sway created by Brick Maier 
Click here to view this project