What is a GIF?
Graphics Interchange Format is what GIF stands for. They were actually developed in 1987 and are now used worldwide due to its 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. You will be given a three second countdown until the screen begins 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; keeping your GIF under 15 seconds, although it is recommended to have no more than 6 seconds. Twitter only allows 15 second GIFs. Uploads are usually limited to 100MB, although it is recommended to be 8MB or less. The source video resolution should be 720p max, but it is recommended you keep it at 480p. 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” as 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. The GIF is automatically saved to your Google Drive and an 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.She is passionate about student centered learning and using technology to improve learning and engage students. She can be followed at @MCarrilloEDU on Twitter and Instagram