Most is know the animated gif as a means of expression an emotion via social media, but is there a more useful purpose in education.

Absolutely. Think of this “short-form” video as way to show a phenomenon or the steps in a process where it would help understanding to see the steps repeated. For example, Sign With Robert is clearly an effective way to demonstrate sign language.

Can repetition illustrate the geometry of parking?

Can it help to understand observe motion of an organism?

Great Animated GIFs of Science

Think about a concept or process in the subject you teach or are most interested in. What might you be able to demonstrate in an animated GIF form, one that allows rapid repetition of a sequence in a few frames?

You can approach this two ways:

The  giphy web site is a place many people go to find animated GIFs, but it also has a easy to use tool for creating an animated GIF from either the web address of a video, or a series of images you upload. You can add captions and other effects, and then publish to a web address you can share in your response to this activity.

Try the Giphy Make a GIF tool (or other GIF making animation tools from the Extend Toolkit) to make your own GIF for an Other than Silly purpose.

This activity is part of the Let’s Experiment section of the Experimenter Module.

Example for "A Serious Use For Silly Media":

Math GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Resources for this Activity

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8 Responses for this Activity

  • Keep Calm. Doctor P is on duty
    by Cathy Stewart (@CaffStew)
  • GIFS for building rapport and communicating
    by Elan Paulson (@Elan Paulson)

    This was the activity that I completed on my phone. Although I did not spend as much time with this activity as I did with the H5P activity, I was SURPRISED how long it took me to get familiar with the app. I started with something simple (the butterfly video), something that could be used more… »

  • Hard work pay off when done together!
    by Dorina Grossu (@dgrossu)

    There is always an opportunity to evolve throughout our lives while setting the scene is also part of the process. I can use this gif by sharing my views with the students.

  • Tina’s Serious Use for Silly Media
    by Martina Kolodzey (@Tiniko)

    Giphs are awesome for use in the ESL or LINC classroom! They are a great way to explain the meaning of a verb, or to talk about feelings.  In this gyph, my son is …. eating…. Does he like what he’s eating?  Can you tell by the expression on his face. A gyph isn’t as more… »

  • Gif
    by Stephanie Müller (@smuller)

    Students are always using google translate without thinking critically of what they are copying out or saying. This gif is a funny reminder to think critically

  • Diana Degan A Serious Use for Silly Media — Don’t Lie to a A Reporter
    by Diana Degan (@dianadegan)

    I teaching Public Relations & Marketing Communications classes. One of my classes is always around how to work with media. One of the lessons is don’t lie to the media; it will always come back and bite you — big time. I use a pretty infamous clip in class. I decided to turn that into more… »

  • Loop It Deep Dive
    by Steven Secord (@stevensecord)

    I wrote a blog post in response to this activity with the animated GIF I created to help with Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  • One Set of Infinity
    by Terry Greene (@greeneterry)

2 Resources for this Activity

  • A Purposeful Use for Silly Media (TCC2019 Pre-Conference Workshop)
    shared by Alan Levine (@cogdogblog)

    “Like memes, animated GIFs are often used to generate a laugh, a smile, maybe just a ¯_(ツ)_/¯. But considering them as short-form video, their looping structure is effective for demonstrating natural processes or showing hands-on techniques where repetition can aid understanding.”

  • Animated GIF Makes (Networked Narratives Make Bank)
    shared by Alan Levine (@cogdogblog)

    A collection of activities that show the two ways of making GIFs with the Giphy Maker tool

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