As you probably already know, I am currently undergoing a Software Development course – During which, it being a software course, I get to learn and interact with many collaboration tools and because of that, today I’ll give a quick overview over how Microsoft Teams & Sway helped me with my course assessment and collaboration with my classmates.
Let’s start with the most helpful software – Teams, it’s a hugely helpful and expendable tool designed to bring teams together boosting their communication, planning and collaboration to another level – It helps them stay focused on the task and in good contact.
It helped us manage our meetings – It let us schedule them and pin it on everybody’s device’s calendar, so each of the members gets a notification when it’s coming up – Additionally, it has the ability to perform video meetings – Which we’ve used not just once to discuss and manage our project.
You have the ability to mention the members in a chat room to gain their attention, you’re able to create multiple teams completely instanced from each other, and give them their own room for discussion, files to upload, plan, meet etc.
But you’re not only restricted to the tools Microsoft gave you – They have a very impressive market of free tools designed to boost the creativity and performance of your teams even more – Things like gantt charts, organizers, even chat room bots to moderate the text channels!
I wouldn’t call Sway more intuitive than good old Powerpoint, in fact, it’s kinda clunky, if I have to be honest – Most of my team members machines struggled running it, even though they were more than capable. It also does things in a different way than most slide/presentation programs would have done it – Why is adding images AND text to a slide require you to put two separate elements in a third element, a group? It’s fine to innovate – but if you do it, in my opinion you should do it better than the solution you’re trying to revolutionize. I wouldn’t even call it a presentation-making tool, it’s missing many features, that would be otherwise expected in a program like such (Seriously, viewer intractability is a big element of presentations)
And even though I had some bad experiences with it, there are many good ones – I’d say that in the end, it was worth using Sway for my assessments solely alone for the end product.
Presentations looks professional and elegant, the animations put the whole thing together, and Sway seems to lay out the elements in a way that makes the listener focus on data, not flashy-images.
But the biggest benefit is collaboration support – You can edit the same file with multiple people, with no view jumping up and down when they remove something, everything in that department is fluid and works as expected – While there might be little delays (or was it just the application being slow on our PC’s, as mentioned before) – They’re generally short and don’t have a negative effect on the work.
In the end, I’ve got to say that I did not enjoy using Sway, like I said, it’s clunky and doesn’t run too well – The end product might be okay looking, but during the time that you’d learn the whole program and the things that it does differently (not better, differently) – you could wrap up a better presentation in good old PowerPoint.