Empowering Education with Animated GIFs in the Classroom

Animated GIF
February 17, 2023

Students can use animated GIFs to explain concepts. Why use animated GIFs instead of a movie or a slideshow? Animated GIFs are very small files (<250kbs) and typically last less than 30 seconds. It’s a way to pack a lot of information into a quick easy “sound bite.” Students could make gifs and display them on the SmartBoard as they give a verbal presentation explaining the concept. If you have a class webpage or blog, you could upload the GIFs for other students to see/learn from. GIFs are great for presenting:

  • Data that changes over time. Make a GIF of a plant growing (similar to a time-lapse photo)
  • Simple information becomes more complex. Break big ideas into small pieces like molecules combining to create an element.
  • Multiple steps in a process. How to form a letter (you could make a gif and show it on the smartboard as you walk around and help students with their handwriting), how to complete an equation or the life cycle of a plant…
  • Multiple sides of a three-dimensional object. What does it look like from the back? Or the side?

There are so many possibilities! Here’s how you can make them: 

How to Create Animated GIFs for Classroom Use

  1. Find or draw the images you want to use
    1. Openclipart
    2. WPClipart
    3. Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources 
    4. Pixabay 
  2. Put the images into a PowerPoint Google Slides or Keynote presentation. Add animations if you like. 
  3. Use screencasting to record a video of your slideshow (or, if using PowerPoint, you can go to File, Export, and save the presentation as a video file)
  4. Convert your video to a . GIF
    1. Ezgif.com
    2. Giphy
    3. Imgflip (you can also use this website to make Memes) 

Or go to sites like FlipAnim to create GIFs directly. Draw it, upload it, then right-click and save. (Note: This site allows over 18 content. So use discretion – don’t have students search for GIFs.) 

See this page for a How to Create Animated GIFs video

Classroom Applications of Animated GIFs

Female teacher do lesson with animated GIF for student

In the classroom, animated GIFs offer diverse and engaging applications that benefit both students and educators alike.

Student-led Verbal Presentations with GIFs on SmartBoard

Animated GIFs can enrich student-led presentations by providing dynamic visual aids to accompany their explanations. When students elucidate concepts, displaying relevant GIFs on the SmartBoard can enhance comprehension and captivate their peers, fostering an interactive and effective learning environment.

Examples of potential uses in different subjects:

  • Science: Animated GIFs effectively illustrate dynamic processes like plant growth or chemical reactions, making intricate scientific concepts more approachable.
  • Language Arts: GIFs assist in explaining writing processes and grammar concepts, while also adding animated elements to creative storytelling.
  • Mathematics: Utilizing GIFs to demonstrate geometric transformations and problem-solving steps clarifies mathematical principles.
  • History: Historical events and timelines come to life with GIFs, fostering better historical understanding and contextualization.

Sharing GIFs on Class Webpage or Blog

By sharing educational GIFs on a class webpage or blog, students create a valuable resource accessible to all. These GIFs serve as reference materials, reinforcing understanding and aiding exam preparation. Accessible visual content facilitates learning beyond the classroom setting, promoting self-directed learning.

Integrating animated GIFs into the classroom empowers students to communicate ideas creatively and helps educators deliver captivating and impactful lessons across various subjects. These compact visual tools have the potential to transform the learning experience, making it more enjoyable and effective.

Embracing Animated GIFs for Engaging Education

Animated GIFs are more than just playful internet memes; they offer tremendous potential for enhancing learning and presentations in the classroom. By leveraging the visual power of animated GIFs educators can foster engagement, comprehension, and creativity among students. Whether simplifying complex concepts or visualizing dynamic data, animated GIFs serve as valuable educational assets that support students on their journey to deeper understanding and knowledge retention. As technology continues to evolve, let’s embrace the innovative possibilities animated GIFs provide to enrich education and inspire the next generation of learners.

Are you a teacher or administrator interested in using Animated GIFs in the classroom? Look no further! TechU by S3 Technologies is an innovative training and sharing program designed to empower faculty and staff in seamlessly integrating technology into their curriculum.

At TechU, our mission is clear – to equip educators with the confidence and expertise to leverage technology effectively, ultimately elevating students’ learning experiences to new heights. By embracing the future of Animated GIFs, you can create engaging and dynamic presentations that captivate your students’ attention and enhance their understanding of complex concepts.
Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity! REGISTER for FREE at mys3tech.com/s3/techu and embark on a journey of transforming your classroom with the power of Animated GIFs today!


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