Day 12 of Google: Creating Your own GIF with AutoDraw, Photos, and Slides

For day twelve of Google, we are going to look at how AutoDraw, Google Photos and Google Slides can be used to help create your own GIF for a presentation.

GIF files and bitmojis have appeared in text messages/group chats for awhile now. I am noticing that more and more people are including these in presentations now. In most cases, gifs that are used are ones that have been found online. Well, with the help of three applications, you can create your own GIF. What makes this process even easier is the fact that Google Photos is now an option for inserting images into a Google Slide presentation.

Below is an example of something that was created in AutoDraw, uploaded into Google Photos to create a ‘GIF’. This file can then be inserted into any location that allows for images. Below will walk you through the process…

Step 1: AutoDraw
I have written an earlier blog post on Google AutoDraw. AutoDraw is a great way for students to create their own visual with the help of artificial intelligence. I for one am not a great drawer. I can use all the help that I can get with my drawings. This is also a great way to get ‘free to use’ images.

  • Create what you want to turn into a GIF. My example will be a basketball moving as if it is being thrown in the air. 
  • After my image is all set, take a screenshot
  • Move items that you ‘drew’ (in my case, I will move the basketball)
  • Take another screenshot
  • Repeat step 3 and 4 until you have all the necessary screenshots 

Step 2: Google Photos

Next, we will use Google Photos ( The reason behind this is so that it will automatically create the GIF for us. Google Photos calls this an animation.

  • Once in Google Photos, choose upload on the top right corner
  • Upload all of the screenshots (or images you want to eventually make into a GIF file)
  • On top right corner, select the plus button and choose animation
  • Select all images you want to be part of the gif ‘animation’

Step 3: Google Slides (or Docs, Drawing)

Next, you will want to open the application that the GIF file should be placed – in this case Google Slides. With Googles latest feature, it is even easier to add images.

  • Open up Google Slide presentation
  • Go to slide you want the image to be located on
  • Under the insert menu, choose Image followed by Photos. Google will search your Google Photos and you will select your GIF file.
And that is my Spiel…

Day 11: Change Default Text in Google Docs

On day eleven of Google, we are going to look at how you can change your default text in Google Docs. To be honest, I didn’t know that you could actually change the default setting to Google Doc until recently. I always manually changed the text to what I wanted it to be. Never thought that I could tell Google what I want it to be when I open up a document.

Google has determined that Arial size 11 font is the default font and size. For some people, this does not necessary work. For instance, if you are required to use MLA format, I believe the text has to be size 12. Students would then have to manually go to the top and change the font to 12.

If you find that you want to change the default of the font text and size, follow these steps: (NOTE: this will change the default to all Google Docs that you create moving forward. If you find that you don’t like the default that you set, you can make the change again.)

Changing Default Setting

  • Determine what font you want to make default
  • Determine the size you want to make default
  • Select the Normal Text, and choose Normal Text drop down – choose ‘Update Normal Text to Match’
  • Select Normal Text, then Options, save as my default settings
Moving forward, your default has been set.

And that is my Spiel…

Day 10 of Google: equatIO for Math and Science classes

On day ten of Google, we will take a look at equatIO. Over the past year, I have watching how equatIO is evolving and transforming their product to help make math digital. I am impressed with what I have seen so far.

Let’s face it, showcasing math work electronic can take a bit of time and energy to get your point across. Text help is trying to help solve this with their product equatIO. I can see both math and science teachers embracing this chrome extension.

EquatIO has a chrome extension that you download from the Chromestore (free for teachers). Once downloaded and activated, you are able to

  • type your math
  • speak your thought process/math
  • handwrite your work
You are able to use this extension when you are using G-Suite. (While Google has its own ‘math type’ most do not find it user friendly. EquatIO can be a great solution to getting math equations, expressions and thought process down in a Google product.) When you want to activate it, you select the chrome extension and away you go. I am particularly impressed with the speaking component. Simply by saying, new line, you are able to showcase your math in multiple steps/lines.

You will also notice that equatIO has text prediction so that the moment you start to type ‘quad’ – you can select quadratic formula and the formula will show up without the user having type the entire formula. When you get into the options menu, followed by math options, you are able to turn on math, chemistry, and/or formulas prediction to help save you time.

In the gif below, you will see how to:

  • start using the extension
  • use speech to text
  • insert the math text – you will notice that equatIO inserts the math as an image – if you determine that you made a mistake or you want to change something that you initially made, you select the image in the Google Doc and extract the math so that you can make the necessary change.
This is a very quick overview of the equatIO. If you want to know more about this tool or bounce ideas of how this can be used in your curriculum, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Some of our math teachers are already using the extension. The next step is to see how we can implement this with our students. I hope to write a future blog post on this as well as equatIO new feature equatIO Mathspace. (NOTE: In order for students to be able to use equatIO, students must have a paid account).

And that is my Spiel…

Day 9 of Google: Google Keep Features

On the ninth day of Google, we will explore with Google Keep.

For those of you who have not explored around with Google Keep yet, you are missing out. This tool is now an official G-Suite app and can be found in the waffle icon. Google Keep ( is a tool to help keep you organized.

But, did you know that Keep has a mobile app as well? You can access all of your ‘to do lists’ and reminders on your mobile phone. You can create lists as well as reminders right on your mobile device. Two amazing things that can be done with the help of the mobile device – creating audio files as well as taking pictures to extract text (through the help of OCR).

Audio Recording:

It is very easy to provide an audio recording. Have something on your mind that you don’t want to forget? Find it easier to speak your thoughts? This might be the tool for you.

  • Open up Google Keep on your mobile device (make sure you are logged into your School Google account)
  • Select the microphone icon
  • Record yourself speaking
  • Keep will automatically create an audio file as well as convert what you said into text (it will try to do its best job)
  • You can then copy and paste this information into a Google Doc/Google slide.
  • You can also share your audio recording with others.

Grabbing Image Text:

NOTE: I, by no means am saying that it is ok to steal text/ideas from others. It is always important to keep in mind of what is acceptable and not acceptable. However, there might be a time and place where this could be helpful rather than re-typing information.

  • Open up Google Keep on your mobile device (make sure you are logged into your School Google account)
  • Take a picture of the document
  • Go to Google Keep on your laptop/chromebook
  • Open up the note
  • Select the three dots at the bottom of the note and select ‘Grab Image Text’
  • Text from the document will show up below the picture.
  • Go to Google Docs or Google Slides where you want to use some of the text
  • Under the Tools menu, choose Keep Notepad (notepad will show up on the right side panel. Click and drag text to where you would like it.

And that is my Spiel…

    Day 8 of Google: Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

    On the eighth day of Google, we will take a look at how to use Chrome more efficiently. Are you someone that uses keyboard shortcuts? I have found that fewer and fewer students actually use a mouse when using chromebooks/computers and knowing basic keyboard shortcuts could help make the user of the device more efficient.

    Chrome Shortcuts:
    Reopen a Closed Tab
    We have all experienced it at some point where we have accidentally closed a tab that we didn’t want to close. Well, did you know that you can get that tab back open with the help of a few key strokes?

    Refresh a Page
    I find myself using the refresh button from time to time. Rather than using the trackpad or a mouse to move the curser to the refresh arrow next to the omni box (search box), there is a shortcut:

    Open and Close a Tab
    Yes, there are also keyboard shortcuts to managing your tabs in chrome.

    In order to make the shift to using keyboard shortcuts, this is something where you will have to ‘force’ yourself into doing it several times before it will become natural.

    And that is my Spiel…