Create an Animated Banner in Google Classroom

You can personalize your Google Classroom by creating an animated banner. The animation can represent the unit or theme your students are studying. The animation will add interest and excitement to your Classroom page.

I prefer using free software to create. By using Google Slides AND Screencastify, you can create an animated image, record the screen, and download it as a GIF. Upload the file to your Google Classroom theme. The banner image will be animated. Super cool!

Follow the below steps to create an animated Google Classroom banner:

Design Animation in Google Slides

  1. Open a new Google Slides presentation.

  2. Change the size of the slides by clicking on File => Page Setup => Select Custom => Enter 800 x 200 PIXELS.
  1. Design the background of the first slide or insert an image. Add an image that you plan to animate. This could be your Bitmoji. To duplicate the slide, click on the slide => Edit => Duplicate.

  2. Slightly move the image/Bitmoji. Duplicate the slide. Repeat these steps until your image has completed the movement.

Design Animation in Google Slides

  1. Click on File => Publish to the Web.

  1. Click on both boxes to place a checkmark. Then click on Publish.
  1. Copy the URL.
  1. Open a new Chrome browser tab. Paste the URL in the Omnibox (address bar). The 3000 number means 3000 milliseconds. To make the images move more quickly, enter a smaller amount (100, 150, 200) and press the enter/return key. If the motion is too fast, increase the number. If the action is too slow, decrease the number.

Record the Screen Using Screencastify

  1. Add the Screencastify Chrome extension from the Web Store.
  2. To record the tab that is playing your Google Slides presentation, click on the Screencastify extension button.
  1. Record the browser tab.
  1. Trim the video clip.
  2. Click on Download. Select Export Animated GIF.
  1. Move the slider so that the size is closest to 800×200.
Upload GIF to Google Classroom

  1. Open Google Classroom.
  2. Click on Upload Photo.
  1. Click on the Select Class Theme button.
  1. The animated GIF will appear as your Classroom banner.
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Oftentimes, we find ourselves providing the same information in an email. This may be in response to a general inquiry. For example, when parents send an email asking for the yearly supplies list. You may copy the list and paste the information into a reply message and hit the send button. However, this still takes work. 😅

Gmail offers a feature to create an email template that will contain your email response. You will enter a specific subject to the template message and ask others to use that subject when messaging you about that topic. The subject will trigger the template to be sent. Whenever I think of using Gmail’s Automatic Email Response, I recall the Rice Krispie advertisement. If you need a quick laugh, click here to view. 😆 read more

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Some of my favorite teachers were the ones that stood outside their classroom door to greet each student. When teaching online, I like to start the Zoom session in a similar friendly fashion. I want to have a welcome slide appear when students enter the Zoom call that includes:

  • a countdown timer to the start of our class
  • a list of what students will need to be successful for the daily lesson
  • an inspirational quote (just because I love quotes!)
  • a joke/riddle 
  • play music – usually a tune from Springsteen or Billy Joel

The below image was created by using Google Slides. It may be fun to create a welcome slide to match your lesson theme or the season. Google Slides lends itself to creating an image because of the design elements included in the program. The welcome greeting may help set the tone for an enthusiastic discussion. #MakeLearningFun read more

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Screencasting Tips

A screencast is a video recording of your device’s screen. A screencast is a fantastic way to create instructional videos, short “How-Tos,” and share ideas. If you are looking for a free screencasting app, you may want to try Screencastify, Screencast-O-Matic, or Flipgrid Video Shorts.

When creating a screencast, educators want to hold students’ attention and foster understanding of the material. The following tips may help you create instructional screencasts:

Organize Your Thoughts

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