Laura Gibbs

Using Inoreader to Bring Blog Posts inside Canvas

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Apr 19, 2017

Since Stefanie mentioned the power of Inoreader for bringing RSS into Canvas courses in her CanvasLIVE Blogging for Apples yesterday, I thought I would write up a quick note about how I am using that for my Growth Mindset Canvas resource course.  Here's a link to Inoreader. I am a huge fan of Inoreader and glad to help anyone with that. You can do what I am going to show here with the free version, although I use the paid version of Inoreader so that I can have unlimited rules, subscribe to Twitter and Facebook with Inoreader, and other great features. If you ever want to brainstorm about ways to use Inoreader, let me know. Since my classes are blog-based, it is the most important tool that I use every day, and I am always glad to introduce others to the power of Inoreader!


So, here's one example of how you can use Inoreader to bring blog content into a Canvas course page:


I've got a blog where I have several different kinds of posts, and I'm using Inoreader to separate it out so that you can see the newest cat post and the newest infographic post here in my Canvas course space:
New Cats

New Infographics


Screenshot. I've also included links above the incoming feed so that if the embedding does not work for some reason, people can still access the content:


Canvas course screenshot



The way that works is that I am subscribed to my Growth Mindset blog in Inoreader.  When I post a new cat, for example, that post shows up instantly in Inoreader, and I manually add the label "new cat" to that item in Inoreader (Inoreader has a good prompt system for labels so that you can just start typing and it will guess the rest). It's also possible to set up automatic rules to apply labels to posts, but for this purpose, it's easier for me to just quickly add the "new cat" label manually.


Then, any post labeled "new cat" gets added to the special RSS feed that Inoreader is creating for me. This is a link to the RSS feed itself:


But the best part is that Inoreader has an HTML view that renders the RSS as HTML that you can display anywhere that iframe is accepted... like in Canvas. I've configured the HTML view to do the "expanded view" (although I use "magazine view" for other feeds in other contexts), and to display only 1 item per page. This is what the interface for configuring the feed looks like; you set the export on, and then you click on HTML clip to configure the HTML view.


The magazine view is also very useful; you can see what that looks like here: New Cats - Magazine View.


inoreader html screenshot


So, based on my choices, Inoreader generates this iframe code for me:


<iframe src="" width="670" height="2000">


That's what I paste into the Canvas page as you can see here. ESSENTIAL TRICK: Inoreader does not default to https, so you need to make sure you change the http in the Inoreader code to https so that it will work in Canvas! Here is the resulting New Cats page which updates automatically; I don't have to log on to Canvas or do anything. The new posts are delivered by Inoreader automatically as soon as I add that "new cat" label:
New Cats


new cat screenshot


Notice also that there is a link at the bottom of the current cat that goes to "next item" (and if I had more items on this page, it would go to "next X items" based on how many items I am displaying per page).


That all sounds kind of complicated, but it's really not... it take about 10 minutes to set up the Inoreader feed and put it in a Canvas page... and then the power of automation is working for you, automatically sending the new cat or new infographic into the Canvas page whenever anybody looks at it. Magic.


So, for a nice, clean view of the blog post contents, without all the other blog stuff, this is a super-powerful tool, feeding live content into Canvas automatically.


inoreader logo