.gif Me Some More Learning!

.gif Me Some More Learning!

So people love .gifs right? We see them all the time added to Facebook posts and Twitter. Heck, we even have entire threads of conversations held via gifs. (wait, or is that just me?)

So why not leverage that excitement, humor, and fun for learning?

What if we challenged students to create a library of .gifs to explain or illustrate a particular piece of learning? They’d be getting visual. They’d have to understand the bigger concepts in relation to the whole. They could work on being funny/dramatic/emotional. They have a limited scope for completion.
And it would be fun to use the .gifs later, right? Well, if they’re good! 
For instance, here’s a blog post full of AWESOME gifs for Trigonometry. Yeah, TRIG! And I can’t stop watching these! I don’t know who made it. I just know that I love it and my life is better knowing this exists. And I just feel smarter watching it…over and over…because who knew that I was a hidden math nerd? Not me! But I still love it! 
So what if we created a gif series for say, World War II. Or maybe the volcanic processes? Revising for word choice? Maybe something that illustrates a physical fitness or movement concept about how muscles work. You know you don’t have to be an artist. These can be made with photos or even stick figures! 
Shoot a video. Cut it into a .gif with GIFY.
You only have still pics that you drew? No problem! Use ImgFlip!
I’m thinking that if we drop the topic and the challenge to the kids, then let the kids take it from there, it might be fun. Here’s our topic. What are the major concepts we’d need to gif-ify (is that even a word), and how could we do that? Oh, you don’t know the topic? Gosh, maybe we can dig in and learn something about the topic, create a prioritized list of what our library would need, then figure out who’s gonna make what and how? I can see artists, actors, tech geeks, and content nerds coming alive together!
And then they can collect them all into a Google folder (.gif is just a file, after all) and then share them either as tutorials ( <insert topic> for dummies ) or share them to teachers to use … or just be amused.
Or…what do you think? This sort of thing is certainly not the grand, sweeping, “change the world” PBL, but it could be leveraged into student interests, digital citizenship, discrete content development, and more. It can also help kids work on content understanding and communication of bigger ideas with the content, while the visual component can tie into our memories. 
If you have ever done something like this before and some certainly have, I’m sure, let us know what tools you used, where you stored them, and what content you attacked.
This old lady thinks it could be really cool!
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Written by GingerLewman

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