January 7th, 2020 by Marianna Chade

Create Your Own GIF with a Digital Whiteboard App

According to Giphy statistics, the popular GIF search engine has 300 million users daily (data from the end of April 2019). That’s 50 million more than the number of monthly Giphy visitors in 2016!

Why we love GIFs

There’s no doubt we’ve learned to speak in GIFs and we’re doing it more and more often.

If we look into the reason why this is happening, the answer becomes very clear (much like GIFs themselves) – visual communication has been proven to be quicker and easier to understand. Unlike face-to-face chat, exchanging thoughts remotely can get really tricky just because we can’t see the other person.

With GIFs, we can use few or no words to express our feelings or reactions. Reactions – this word is actually the best answer to the question why GIFs? Because GIFs can really capture the mood of the moment, which is something completely unique and really hard to express digitally. I mean, it’s easier to send this:

than type out how very thankful we are to someone using just text or even an emoji when we’re not face-to-face.

GIFs have changed our remote communication for the better in areas that support our specific cognitive needs. Messages that contain them are typically:

  • more expressive
  • clearer
  • easier to read
  • funnier
  • more interesting
  • shareable

Pictures are in general more influential than text alone. And short moving pictures are even better!

But can GIFs be useful in education too?

Here are the most important statistics concerning visual communication every educator should know.

  • People can learn over 50% better when there are visuals. (source)
  • 90% of the 2000 respondents still remembered images showed to them after 3 days. (source) 
  • People need only 13 milliseconds to identify an image. (source)

Maybe that’s why even NASA uses GIFs to share knowledge.

So, yup! GIFs are not just for goofing (or should I say GIF-ing?) around.

And instead of using ready-looped and muted short videos, you can make your own infinite moving pictures and personalize your communication even more. 

Make moving images to move your audience

Who would have thought that you can actually use a whiteboard app to make GIFs? This is yet another surprising and fun way to use Explain Everything! And you don’t even need any special skills or particular materials (such as set of pictures shot in a serial mode or a high-resolution video).

At the end of this article, you will find an entire webinar showing you how to make a variety of GIFs using Explain Everything. Here is a short sneak peek so you can get a taste of what it can help you do:

Shorten the distance between you and your student

Yes, GIFs can help you. They are great ice-breakers! And if you want to give memorable feedback, send fun emails or assign tasks in a way that gets someone’s attention, GIFs can do the trick, too.

Check out some examples of how you can GIF up your communication.

Improve your feedback with GIFs

Expressing feedback in words alone can stress students out, especially if the message is long. Ease some of the tension by attaching a GIF saying something nice (but true, too). That can be encouraging!

Adding visuals to your feedback works well when it comes to explaining something a student has difficulty understanding.

You can make similar short GIFs within Explain Everything! Watch and learn how:

Explore how to engage students with visual feedback.

Send a reminder or get your student’s attention with a funny GIF

This cat GIF says it all:

When you have a message to send to a student or you need to remind them about a task or something you wanted them to take a look at, you can attach a hand-made GIF expressing either your interest or concern in a cool, lighthearted way. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to see that cat peeking at them?

This is how you can make it:

Make the message more personal

When communicating with others remotely, we should make sure to show ourselves from time to time. Showing our real face makes the message real too! This can be challenging but worth doing if we wish to, again, shorten the distance between us and the receiver.

GIFs can be a great way to show our face from time to time. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It’s more about keeping things light and fun.

Making your own GIF is super easy. Six easy steps and you’re done!

  1. Select Add Media from Toolbar and then select Video from the top section.
  2. Press the Record button on the Video window and get ready to make your own personalized GIF.
  3. Press the Main Record button whenever you’re ready.
  4. Press Stop to finish recording the video.
  5. It’s now only a matter of selecting GIF on the Timeline.
  6. It’s ready to send or to save to wherever you’d like!

Tip: You can actually skip Step 1 and make a GIF from any ready-made video by following the remaining steps.

Learn how to edit your recordings.

Regardless of your profession, GIFs can definitely make your communication better and put a smile on the face of whoever you’re communicating with. So let’s use them, and let’s make them, too!

Watch the whole webinar to learn all the GIF tricks there are.

Did you make a stunning GIF you want the world to see? Share it with us on Twitter by tagging @explainevrythng!