Creative Thinking, Teaching Tools

Creating GIFs

I am currently attending the TCEA Virtual Convention, so I plan to share a little about what I’ve learned in each post this week.

One thing that is fun to add to Jamboards are animated GIFs. You can add them just like images either as a background or just to the board. The easiest sites that I’ve found for finding animated GIFs are and I haven’t spent a lot of time making my own GIFs, so I was happy to learn about some easy ways to create animated GIFs during a couple of my TCEA sessions. They can be used to “jazz” things up, but also for academic tasks, such as showing changes on a map over time. As with all tech tools, please check with your district technology department before making them available for students to use.

Ashley Jackson (@techcoachashley) shared several ways to make animated GIFs:

  • Giphy – If you have an account, you can click on the “Create” button at the top right corner.
  • Canva – You will also need an account. The basic free account will work, but Educators can get free accounts with more features. When designing in Canva, there will be an “Animate” button on top of the Design window (as long as you don’t have a specific object selected), and then you can download as a GIF when done.
  • Google Slides + Tall Tweets – With this combination you can make a series of successive Google slides with small changes in each one. Then upload to Tall Tweets either using the website or the Add-On. Super easy, but be aware that Tall Tweets has to be given permission to access your account for this to work.
  • And Then I Was Like – Use your webcam to make a short video of yourself into a GIF.
  • Brush Ninja – This site does not require an account. It works with drawings, similar to stop-motion. There is a page of teacher resources that offers ideas for integration.

And if the above sites are not enough, Kasey Bell (@ShakeUpLearning) shared a link to a “how-to” page that she has for turning YouTube videos into animated GIFs.

Of course, there are a ton of apps and other sites out there that will do this for you. Let me know if you have a favorite!

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