Tech Tools: Illustrate A Concept Quickly with Animated GIFs

Welcome to Tech Tools, our new newsletter feature. Written by Debbie Harris, this column will bring you excellent technology tips to inspire you and add creativity to your teaching.

The Technology

Animated GIFs - those short little videos that are usually just a few scenes long - are all over social media, and they are a fun way to demonstrate a project, give a few directions or share an idea. 

Draw Island is a website that can help you make your own animated GIFs. It allows you to create multiple drawings, and then creates the animation. 

To create your set of drawings, you can draw freehand within the website, or choose from the provided menu of pre-drawn shapes. You can also add text to your drawings or upload your own photos to the site.

After you have completed each drawing, click the “Save to animate” button, and it will save it. Once you have saved at least two or more drawings, you can then can click the “Generate GIF” button and Draw Island will generate an animated GIF from your drawings. Download the GIF to your computer to share it with your students.

Draw Island is a free website, and you can use it without creating an account. 

In Your Classroom

  • Animated GIFs are great for creating small videos that can be posted to social media or sent via email. Use them to spread the word to families about an upcoming event.
  • Invite your students to create their own GIFs that teach about a Jewish holiday. For example, for Rosh Hashanah you can ask students to demonstrate dipping an apple into honey. For Sukkot, they can create an animation of a character shaking a lulav.


Debbie Harris is the Director of Educational Technology at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago and blogs at http://www.museforjews.comReach her at