What is a GIF?
A GIF is an animated graphic. Graphics Interchange Format is what GIF stands for. Developed in 1987, GIFS are now used worldwide due to their wide support and portability. GIFs are used on social media platforms regularly to show emotions and feelings. Most recently, I have seen a wide use of short GIFs as tutorials for technology tips. Instead of telling people how to do something, or using screenshots, using a GIF is another visual way of explaining something.
Adding and Setting Up Screencastify
Screencastify is an extension you can add to your Chrome browser from the Chrome Web Store. I have mine pinned to the toolbar for easy access. Once you have installed Screencastify, you will click on the extension icon located in your tool bar or extensions cog and turn off the microphone and embed webcam as you won’t be needing those to create a GIF. Select “Desktop” and press record.
Recording A Tutorial GIF
Once you click Record a new screen will appear giving you the option to share your screen or specific window. Select the screen (if you have more than one) and click Share. A 3 second countdown starts off your recording.
Immediately begin demonstrating your technology tool or skill you want to create as a tutorial.
Click Stop Sharing, located at the bottom of your screen or click the Stop button accessible from the Screencastify extension.
Animated GIF Inserts into Google Docs
Best Practices for Recording A GIF
Some best practices for recording a tutorial GIF include:
- Keep your GIF under 15 seconds. It is recommended to have no more than 6 seconds.
- Twitter only allows up to 15 second GIFs.
- Keep uploads to 8MB or less.
- Record your video at 480p instead of 720p.
Keep in mind media will appear mostly on small screens, phones or tablets. You can edit the GIF to obtain these times and pixel recommendations after you finish recording.
Download The Recording As A GIF
Once you click on Stop Sharing, the video automatically saves to your Google Drive and opens in a new window for viewing and editing purposes. A new menu to the right will appear giving you SHARE options. I usually select “Publish to YouTube.” A link is generated and it is the easiest way to make sure it is viewable. However, since we are making a Tutorial GIF, select More Options and then Export animated GIF. Automatically saved to your Google Drive. Then you have the option to save it to your device.
About the Author
Guest Blog by Marcia Carrillo. Marcia has been a secondary educator for over 30 years and is currently teaching Independent Studies at a high school in California. She has earned her B.S. in Physical Education and Biology and her M.A. in Organizational Leadership. She presented at #FallCUE in 2019 with her Mentor team. Passionate about student centered learning, Marcia uses technology to improve learning and engage students. She is passionate about student centered learning and using technology to improve learning and engage students. Follow Marcia at @MCarrilloEDU on Twitter and Instagram