Thursday, October 22, 2020

Use Unscreen to Add Transparent GIFs to Jazz Up Lessons


Animated GIFs are great, fun way to engage students with content and get them thinking creatively. GIFs are a huge part of popular culture and students love using them in their personal lives. When adding GIFs to our presentations, slides and lessons, there are occasions where the backgrounds of GIFs don't quite fit well. Aesthetically, it would look better if the object moving within the GIF didn't have a background. 

Unscreen allows you to take GIFs and remove the background creating a transparent GIF. For example, if I taught an ELA lesson on examples of rage in literature, I could use Unscreen to create a transparent GIF of "Angry Tom" to really drive home my point in the lesson. Below see the difference between using a normal GIF and transparent Gif.


The GIF on the left has a background. That may not necessarily fit within the scheme or colors of your slides/lesson/presentation. The transparent GIF on the right will fit in your slide/lesson/presentation like a sticker. It will have a more natural feel. It gives you more creative flexibility. Using transparent GIFs can be a great way to power up your Bitmoji Classroom as well. Below is a series of screenshots that shows you how to get started using Unscreen.

Step 1: Go to If you have a GIF or MP4 file saved on your computer, click Upload Clip to import. If you want to search already made GIFs from the site, click Search GIF. Search GIF is probably the easiest way to get started as a first timer.

Step 2: If you chose the Search GIF option, in the window that appears, you can type your search query in the search bar. Click on the GIF of your choice. 

Step 3: Once you choose your GIF, it will process in seconds and you'll see the background removed from the image. This is evident as you will see a gray and white checker pattern behind the animated GIF. 

Step 4: Click the arrow next to download and select GIF. This will download the transparent GIF to your computer and it can be imported to any lesson, slide or presentation.

Below is the transparent GIF I downloaded from the screenshots above. 

Tools like Unscreen, and the GIFit! Chrome extension are great for upping the aesthetics of your lessons, slides and presentations with GIFs and transparent images. Removing the backgrounds from images and GIFs can add a whole new dimension. Click here to read a blog post I wrote recently on getting started with Click here to read a blog post I wrote recently on getting started with the GIFit! Chrome extension. How will you use GIFs and transparent images to jazz up your teaching?

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