REQUIREMENTS: As I mentioned, no programming is required, but you need to feel comfortable using an HTML editor, and you also need webspace of your own where you can publish the script. For the script to run in Canvas, you need to have enabled https in your webpace. I'm able to do that thanks to the fabulous Domain of One's Own project at my school, hosted by the great people at Reclaim Hosting. I cannot say enough good things about the service they provide! It's also very affordable for individual hosting if you don't want to wait for your school to catch up to the 21st century; an individual hosting account is just $30 per year.
CREATING THE WIDGET. There are basically five steps to creating and deploying a widget with RotateContent.com. The first time you do it may take a while, but when you get used to the process, it goes very quickly; I can make a new widget like this and get it published in about 30 minutes.
1. Create your content in an HTML table. You can generate your own table or use one generated for you by RotateContent.com. I personally prefer to generate my own table by doing the work in a spreadsheet; if you don't mind writing some HTML by hand, a spreadsheet is powerful for this type of content array! Here is the HTML table I wrote for my countdown widget, which I really wrote in this spreadsheet. (The content is very repetitive which means I was able to use spreadsheet formulas to generate most of it.)
4. Write the HTML snippet to call the script. This is the snippet I am able to use in my class wiki and class announcements blog:
<iframe src="https://widgets.lauragibbs.net/canvas/countdown.html" width="100%" height="100"></iframe>
5. Paste the HTML snippet wherever you want the script to run. For my blogs and wikis, that it just the script call snippet; for Canvas, it is the iframe snippet. I have the script running in various wiki pages as mentioned above, and in the sidebar of my class announcements, plus on a Canvas syllabus page.
Here are some screenshots showing the power of distributed content. I publish the script in one place, and it runs everywhere, as you can see (if you're reading this and it's not Sunday, you'll see the current day if you click the live view... although if you're reading this after the semester is over, the live view won't show the script; I run this script only in the last days of he semester). Plus, if I discover a mistake or want to change the text of the script, I just update the script, and it is fixed everywhere. I don't have to do any other editing, just change the script text.
Blog sidebar: view it live.
Wiki page: view it live.
Canvas Syllabus: Indian Epics page: view it live.
Canvas Syllabus: Myth-Folklore page: view it live.