iFrame It Together and Call It Bad Weather

The deep freeze has settled into Michigan so here’s a little Jack Johnson and a quick tip to drive away the winter blues.

While becoming the default html tag for embedding videos, iFrame has opened a world of possibilities for easily embedding dynamic content within existing web pages. This is especially convenient for embedding Web 2.0 services* within a CMS (e.g., being to embed a Piazza.com forum or Wikispaces within an existing Blackboard, WordPress, Moodle, etc page). This eliminates the need to send students out to these external service because who knows if and/or when they’ll come back. I’m certainly not the first one to promote this functionality, but it can be handy if you use a lot of external services want to use your CMS as a hub.

*Note that some services like Facebook and Twitter won’t allow this functionality as it’s against their TOS.

Below are a couple examples of embedding services in this WordPress post. Now you’ll notice that my containing page isn’t big enough, on some screen sizes/resolutions, to house the entire size of the embedded pages causing the nasty cutoffs and scroll bars. My first suggestion is, if you are able, to put the iframe in a page that is large enough to hold the page you are embedding. For example, on this page I would just disable the sidebar on this post and it would be all good. I’ve found that almost everything fits into a Blackboard/ANGEL item page (some are slightly cut off), which is good enough in my opinion if you value not having to send students outside of the CMS. Secondly, if you have no control over the size of the pages you are embedding (which will almost always be the case because you’ll be putting in content that’s not from your domain), then there are some work arounds although they’re not the easiest. I’m far from an expert so perhaps others have suggestions.

Piazza

<center><iframe src="https://piazza.com" width="90%" height="600"></iframe></center>

Wikispaces

<center><iframe src="http://www.wikispaces.com/" width="90%" height="600"></iframe></center>

[Photo Credit: Michael Dawes – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk_five_0/]

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  • First of all, thanks for the music, helps on a cold winter day! And thanks for posting about iFrame.

    Can iFrame be used with wordpress as cms?

  • Andy Saltarelli

    Yep, I’ve added a couple of examples to this post. Hope that helps.

    Stay warm!

  • I love that photo! The colors in the sky are brilliant.

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