The Responsible Way to Use a GIF as Your Schoology Profile Image
A great GIF is like a tortoise—it doesn't move much, but when it does, it's kind of remarkable.
I love GIFs. And I don't care whether you say gif or jif.
They are simply one of the best teaching tools content creators have at their disposal. It's the repetition and the ability to show tasks or concepts in context that make them special. Also, they're fun, and you just can't have enough of that.
But there is a dark side to these redundant little wonders. They can be incredibly distracting and the exact opposite of helpful, particularly when you use a GIF as your profile picture.
So Joe Vassallo and I squeezed into a really tiny room (Maybe we'll make this a thing. Like "Tiny Room.Big Ideas.") to show you why Uncle Ben was right to say, "With great GIFs comes great responsibility." ... or something like that.
The Anatomy of a Great Profile GIF
If you choose to use a GIF as you're profile picture in Schoology or any online community, there's one simple guidelines you need to follow so you don't distract from the posts you make the and those made by others.
A Little Movement Goes a Long Way
Gifs don't just move—they repeat FOR-EV-ER. Knowing that, create or seek out GIFs that don't move much for profile images. If it looks like a picture most of the time, the unexpected movement will make it more impactful and keep the distraction to a minimum.
Adam Larson, our Director of Educational Strategies, used to have one that looked static, but eventually you'd see him wave. I've seen others where the person blinks two or three times every 10 seconds or so.
Mine at the top of this post is a pretty good example of that. My wife filmed it for me on her camera and I edited the video to extend the time between the movements and try to make the most seamless loop possible.
So if you go the way of the GIF, just be mindful of what you're imposing on your fellow community members and you might be taking away from your own posts.