It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.

Alternative Uses Activity

Based on an activity designed by J.P. Guilford in 1967, this activity is meant to exercise creativity (old idea, see what I did there?).

Activity: In 2 minutes imagine as many new uses for an everyday object (provided)  by exploring beyond what you already know.

Ideas will  then be evaluated through the lenses of:

  • Fluency – How many uses have  you imagined?
  • Originality – How  common or unique are your  new uses?
  • Flexibility – How many categories for new uses have emerged?
  • Elaboration  – How detailed are your explanations for new uses?


Hands On with  Google Apps

Advanced Search in Google Search and Apps

Tool: Search, Gmail, Google Drive

Context: Use  search operators to become more effective at building search queries.

Description: Of course Google Search and Google Apps have a point-and-click advanced search feature, but you can also type advanced search operators directly in the search box. Below are listed the most common search operators for each app.

Google Search Operators

[ “word” ]
Search Exact Phrase
[ -word ]
Exclude word
[ ~word ]
Search similar words
[ ]
search only on this site
[ filetype:pdf ]
search only on this site
[ (100*3.14) * cos(38) ]
[ “word1 * word2” ]
Wildcard for searching phrases with missing words (fill in the blank)
[ word1 OR word2 ]
Search either term queried
[ $50..$100 ]
Number range
[ define:word ]
Get definitions
[ 1km = ?mi ]
[ #word ]
Search trending topics

Google Drive Operators

[ owner:  ] Find documents owned by a specific person
[ to: ] Find documents you shared with a particular person
[ is:starred  ] Find a starred file
[ is:trashed  ] Search only in Trash
[ type:  ] Find files by type (folder, document, spreadsheet, pdf, video, form,  etc.
[ title:  ] Search titles only
[ app:  ] Search by documents that can be opened by a particular app, app:”Google Docs”
[ source:domain  ] Search  documents shared across your domain, not just with you

Gmail Search Operators

[ to:  ] Find email you sent to a  specific person
[ from: ] Find  email from a particular person
[ subject:  ] Search only email subject lines
[ labeled:  ] Search  labels
[ has:attachment ]
[ has:drive ]
[ has:document ]
[ has:spreadsheet ]
[ has:presentation ]
[ has:youtube ]
Find email attachments  by app
[ filename:notes.txt  ]
Search attachment types/names
[ app:  ]
Search by documents that can be opened by a particular app, app:”Google Docs”
[ source:domain  ]
Search  documents shared across your domain, not just with you

Helpful Resources


Appointment Slots In Google Calendar

Tool: Google Calendar

Context:  Allow people to schedule time with you by sharing pre-determined time slots on your Google Calendar.

Description: Appointment slots allow you to reserve times for a meeting, then send a link to individuals that will allow them to select the time they can meet from the times you specify.


Embed Graphs from Sheets

Tool: Google Sheets

Context: Display dynamic charts driven by Google Sheets in your Bb shell or class website.

Description: Example form  collects data that creates and chart that is automatically updated as data is added  (embedded chart below).

Addons for Google Apps

Tool:  Addons for Chrome browser and Google Apps (varied)

Context: Install these addons when you need to do more in Google Apps.


Addons enable additional functionality inside of Chrome browser and Google Apps.

Additional Resources:


Collaborative Timelines

Tool: Google Sheets, TimelineJS

Context:  Create a timeline with others  to visualise temporal associations. Provide an opportunity to introduce the element of interactivity


The instructions on the TimelineJS website explain how to set up a Google Sheet to collect timeline information, then how to share the Sheet on the TimelineJS site to generate the timeline.

This timeline is about Bell Geddes, whose contemporaries were the industrial design and architecture icons of the last century and included names such as Albert Hubbard, Henry Dreyfuss (his successful student), Raymond Lowey, Donald Deskey, Kem Weber, Brooks Stevens, John Vassos, Paul T Frankl, Viktor Schrekengost, William Lescale, Albert Kahn, Peter Behrens, Wells Coats, Russel Wright, Elito Noyes, Gilbert Rohde, LeCorbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller



Tool: Drive, Calendar, Gmail, IFTTT

Context: Connecting tools and services together.

Create automatic workflows that follow the logic, “If this (happens), then (do) that’. Create an account on the IFTTT website, then connect the services you want to automate between.
A screenshot of some recipes set up in IFTTT