Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Choosy Designers Choose GIF

Although we may know them best from looping cat clips and viral memes of would-be stunt people face-planting on concrete, animated GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) can be attention-grabbing and informative for demonstrating brief processes or simple actions. They can get your point across visually in a dynamic way that allows learners to follow along from start to finish.

Creating and manipulating animated GIFs can be a time-consuming task that could involve using expensive software. So I was pleased to discover EZGIF.com, a free resource that puts many GIF making tools right at your fingertips without needing to learn how to use an image editing program.

Some of the helpful GIF-related tasks EZGIF.com can perform include:
  • Creating animations from scratch
  • Resizing (upload your own image or use one already online)
  • Cropping
  • Optimizing (color reduction, remove frames)
  • Adding effects (rotate, reverse, change speed, add text)
  • Extracting specific animation frames
  • Converting videos files to GIF (formats include MP4, AVI, WEBM, and FLV files up to 50MB)

After you make all the necessary changes to your GIF, you are presented with a link to download your newly edited image in a jiffy instantly.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Expectation of Teaching Enhances Learning and Recall

Science Daily reports that researchers at Washington University, in St. Louis, have found that learners who are told they will need to teach new material to others experience better memory performance. This could illustrate the importance of the learner's mindset when embarking on a new lesson. Fascinating for instructors everywhere!

Source: Washington University in St. Louis. (2014, August 8). Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140808163445.htm