Behind-the-scenes workarounds


Events Calendars

For the homepage listing of upcoming events, I wanted to embed Upcoming Events from each site's CalendarWiz account, which someone at each site usually maintains.

I had to access the CalendarWiz account for the district in administrator mode to customize an Upcoming Events template for each school's calendar. I could NOT embed that HTML code into Google Sites, however, since it uses JavaScript, which Google Sites does not allow.

So I copied the HTML code for that into a HTML webpage file I created in Adobe Dreamweaver. Normally I would just upload that file to the district webaserver and then embed it as an iframe in Google Sites using the iframe gadget.

HOWEVER, files on the district web server are not sent out via the secure HTTPS:// protocol. And Google Sites won't display a mixture of HTTP:// and HTTPS:// content on a page. Now what?

So I uploaded that file to the Public directory on my personal Dropbox account so that I could then embed the calendar via the iframe gadget, and then ONLY if I used the share link generated when I right-click on the file in Dropbox; using the normal sharing link for a file from the Share button does NOT work for this purpose.

All of this is a wild workaround, but it does work, and allows the webmaster to not worry about creating and updating a separate events calendar. Instead, whomever at the school site edits the usual online calendar in CalendarWiz continues to do so and the Upcoming Events box on the school's website will update automatically.

Here is how you insert the appropriate iframe gadet into the Google Site:
  1. On the page where you want the gadget to go, go into Edit Mode, click on the appropriate part of the page, and open the Insert menu.
  2. Select More gadgets... from the central column of the Insert menu box.
  3. With Featured in red in the left column, type iframe in the search box and click the magnifying glass.
  4. Click on Include gadget (iframe).
  5. Click the Select button.
  6. Paste into the box URL to content a link to an HTML file for the Events Calendar which has been uploaded into the Public directory of a Dropbox account. You HAVE to RIGHT-click on the filename in Dropbox to get the correct link for this purpose; the default link when you use the Share option will NOT work. For example, the following link is for a file I set up to access Madison Middle School's events calendar: Website Events/madisonevents.html
  7. Set the width to 100% and the height to 420 pixels, and uncheck the scrollbar, border, and title options, but leave the View as Default. (Note that you'll need to increase the height to more pixels than 420 if you embed it in a sidebar rather than a column.)
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Save the webpage.

PowerSchool Announcements

Explanation on this use of the iFrame gadget is pending.

Remind Service

Another iFrame trick to be explained later.