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Rock the Animated Hyperdoc

Hyperdocs are more fun when they are

One of the simplest and most powerful ways to integrate Google Apps for Education is to utilize a hyperdoc. It provides a collaborative space for students to work. It creates a space for students to stay organized not overwrite on each other's workspace. There are a lot of great options for students to work together in an online space, but Google Apps for Education schools have a simple solution already in their possession...the Google Doc. (Start here if you've never made a hyperdoc.)

Last week, I posted about including a Google Drawing right within a hyperdoc. With Google Drawings, students can quickly annotate an image and insert it directly into the Google Doc. This speeds up the process so that students do not have to create a completely separate Google Drawing, download it and drag it into the document. The other big advantage is that students can edit the drawing directly in the document if a mistake is made. This reduces the amount of workflow which in turn greatly affects learning time. 

Let's get 

After my post about utilizing Google Drawings directly in a hyperdoc, Matt Miller was kind enough to retweet it along with letting a member of his PLN, Karly Moura, know about my post. Karly is a big fan of creating hyperdocs and she reminded me that you can also include an animated GIF within them. She likes to create animated GIFs using the Snagit Chrome Extension  to give directions within a hyperdoc. That way students can see the directions along with the written word, and students do not have to go to a separate link or YouTube video to accomplish a task. This, in turn, improves workflow much like using the drawings feature within Google Docs.

If you want to increase the engagement in an activity, students can create their own animated GIFS. They can use Snagit, but I like the idea of students using Google Slides to piece together a short response. They can the download all the slides as images and upload them into resources like Giphy or Another option is to utilize short portions of YouTube. Students can grab up to 10 seconds of YouTube and download it as an animated GIF.

Need an example? 

Below I have example hyperdoc with animated directions for each option I listed previously. Check it out! 

Rock the Animated Hyperdoc
Animate directions or have students animate answers.

Question: What can you use to create animated GIFs?
Written Response
Animated Answer
Snagit Chrome Extension lets you record your screen and download as a GIF.
Giphy. You can upload multiple pictures to create an animated gif. Use Google Drawings or Slides to create multiple frames. Save the images and upload to Giphy.
Giphy. You can use a Youtube Video and trim it within 10 seconds.
Lance works well if your students are under 13 and you don’t want to make an account. It is also easier to use than Giphy.

Need step-by-step directions?

I fully recognize that my directions that I created in animated GIF form in the hyperdoc above are both too small and have too many images to follow easily. So if you need to be able to control the directions and see a larger version, I embedded the Slides presentations below. Hope these are helpful! 

Snagit Chrome Extension

This is a great option if you need to create a quick direction on where to click in a few short steps. It doesn't take long to make a GIF in Snagit, but it won't be as neat and tidy as the students will see you clicking to turn the extension on and off. 


Giphy is a great option for students over 13. It says specifically in their terms of service that no one (regardless of having an account) under 13 can use their services. (See section 2 in this document.) The awesome part about Giphy are all the options. Students can upload their own images, edit existing videos, and even edit existing GIF files. If students create an account, their GIFs are saved directly on the site so they can be retrieved later. The downfall of Giphy is that some of the content is not school appropriate. It is intended for entertainment purposes. So if your students are easily distracted, may serve to be a better option. is the simplest option for uploading your own animated GIFs. You can upload your images, change the order, and adjust the speed at which they animate. It is a great option since there are no accounts involved and they do not host animated GIFs on their site. So that means fewer distractions and students under 13 can use the service. However, animated GIFs are not saved. The user must save their work and be conscious of where it is saved to retrieve it later. 

Want more hyperdoc ideas?

To wrap things up, Karly was kind enough to post a Padlet page where teachers from the #ditchbook Twitter chat have shared their hyperdocs. It is a great resource if you need to generate some great learning activity ideas.


  1. Hi Lance! Somehow I JUST stumbled upon this post! Thanks for including the Padlet! It came from a #DITCHBook chat with the HyperDoc creators, Lisa Highfill, Sarah Landis, Kelly Hilton. LOTS more resources from them and @TsGiveTs, the Twitter account they created to connect teachers and get educators sharing resources and HyperDocs! They also have a book coming out The HyperDoc Handbook which you can pre-order here!


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