We are very excited to be part of the launch of the Alsager Partnership Memory Cafe on Friday 28th April. Where we as a school will have the opportunity to present the Microsoft Sway Life Stories to the local community.
Alsager Partnership has been developing an exciting and supportive programme of dementia training and events to raise awareness and provide more support for people living with dementia, bringing the local community together in a common cause.
The opening of the Memory Cafe will be a wonderful event and in preparation we have been working on developing a Microsoft Docs.com website to host the Sways and to create the platform from which we can add more Sway Life Stories enabling the project to grow and develop into the next academic year.
At the opening of the Memory Cafe the students are presenting and showcasing the Sways displaying the project on a 42 inch TV in the library and we will be giving the community the opportunity to try out the Sway Life Stories themselves using individual devices from school.
We have now moved on from the generic homepage and designed our Docs.com site, uploading the Sways the students and couples have been working on to create our very own bespoke site called ‘AlsagerSchool_SwayLifeStories’ –
From this website people living with dementia and their families and carers can access the Sways 24/7 on any Internet enabled device. What I really like about Docs.com is that you can add a broad range of content and refine the look and options of the site to match your specific need.
Live Instant Updating
The Sways can also be worked on, refined and modified and any changes are instantly reflected in the Docs.com site without any need to re-upload. This is a stunning feature of working in the Cloud with 365, as the students can make changes to the Sways in school and we can get immediate feedback from the couples who can access and view their own Sways in the comfort of their home. It means the whole project is live and can adapt to changing needs.
Technology Bringing People Together
We have kept the home page simple with a pinned area for Sway Guides and the document area to house the Sways. It is fantastic that you can upload video, PDF and Sways into Docs.com so you can create a dynamic digital hub with all the resources people need in one location. We have uploaded a Microsoft Sway guide which we hope will help the couples and their families understand what a Sway is and how easy it is to create your own.
We will refine the PDF user guides we have made when we get some feedback from the couples. There is also a Journal feature that I hope we can use at some point in the future once the site is up and running.
This use of technology will only be successful and effective as long as we support the couples in how to use the Sways and access them in person. The guides are meant to be used as a backup as the students will be showing and supporting the couples how to use the Sways through workshops in school.
This has been one of the most enduring aspects of the project for me, in the way that this use of new technology has brought people closer together and created opportunities for face to face story telling between generations.