Monday, November 20, 2017

Word Clouds Made Easy

I love word clouds. I used them often in my elementary classrooms, and not just to make cool looking images. I had students create a word cloud with every document they created to show frequency of words: the more often a word is used the larger it appeared. This helped them with word choice and creating interesting writing. The downside was when we went to 100% Chrome environment. Sites like and no longer worked (Java issues). But have no fear… to the rescue. This site allows you to create beautiful word clouds (even with custom shapes) for FREE. There is a paid portion, but a classroom can easily just use the freebies! Check out how to get started below.

Create Word Art:

  1. Go to
  2. You can create an account (allows you to save work and edit later) or just use the free (not signed in but can still create).
  3. Click “Create”.

  1. Copy and paste your text you want to create with and click “Import”.

  1. Paste your text into the box and click “Import Words”.

  1. Get creating with “Shapes, Fonts, Layout, and Style”.

  • Shapes: There are presets, but you can upload any image you have as well
  • Fonts: Get creative and choose one that fits your desired image
  • Layout: How do you want the text facing?
  • Style: Color of words

  1. When you are ready click “Visualize” and your word cloud will be created.

  1. To save this click “Download” and choose “Standards PNG or JPEG”. The standard versions (plenty good for any student’s project) is free while the “HQ” images are paid.

  1. Add this awesome creation to any project!

If you want these directions in a Document Click Here!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Create Animated GIFs with Google Photos

They are everywhere...GIFs...those animated pictures we all love. They tell stories, make us laugh with jokes, and allow the sharing of multiple images in one frame. They are great to use in documents, slides, email, and social media but how can you easily make them? There are apps and tools that you can use, but there is also an easy way already built into your Google Account. Making basic GIFS is as easy 1, 2,3 using Google Photos. Follow the steps below and get GIFing!

1: Get Photos into Google Photos
  1. Use the Google Photos app on your mobile device to auto-upload device pictures: How To Document
  2. Manually upload images to Google Photos.
    1. Drag your images from your computer directly to the screen.

2: Select Images in Google Photos
  1. Go to or use the Google Photos app and select the check mark in the top left corner of any image you want to be included in your GIF.

  1. You can choose between 2-50 images for any one GIF.

3: Create Animation
  1. Once your images are selected, click the “+” icon in the top right.

  1. Select Animation.

  1. Your animated GIF will be created. Download or insert this image into any project or social media post to share.

The best feature of a GIF is that you can insert this into almost anything (Docs, Slides, Email, Twitter, etc…). This is an easy way to share multiple images in one frame or to create a step by step process (such as stop-motion action/time lapse). The uses are endless and add a little flair to your documents.

...and is a “J” sound in GIF (like the peanut butter)!

If you want these directions in a document click Here!