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“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.” 

A Study in Scarlet 

 Welcome to Week One_

Welcome to Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things—we're excited that you've joined us in this experimental Massive Online/Offline Collaboration (MOOC). 

The Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things MOOC is designed to be conducted over 6 weeks starting on August 23, 2016 to October 6th, 2016.

This is Week One and the MOOC is officially kicking off!

Over the course of 6 weeks you and your teammates will ideate, design and prototype a 21st Century adaption of Sherlock Holmes that embraces a set of core principles. A prototype could be a game, an immersive storytelling experience, an enchanted object powered by IoT, a sherlock AI bot, an AR or VR project, a learning program for youth and/or an experience that makes social impact. The choice is up to you.

However before you dive in make sure that you've checked out WEEK ZERO here. You'll want to take the "Which Sherlock Character are You?" survey as it will help you to find a partner for WEEK ONE.  Find out if you're more like Sherlock or Watson or maybe another character from the world of Arthur Conan Doyle?

If you've already taken the "Which Sherlock Character are You?" survey click here to meet your WEEK ONE partner.  PLEASE NOTE this pairing is to help you get started and you'll be forming teams next week.

The "Baker Street Irregulars" is the back channel for the MOOC. It's where you'll find help, can ask questions and share resources. Click here to join. 


For those of you have finished the Sherlock Storytime challenge for WEEK ZERO please look for the "WEEK ZERO CHALLENGE - Shrelock Storytime" post within the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group and add your work as a comment. 

For those using gmail the emails from the MOOC will show up in your "promotions" folder until you add us to your contacts. Read more about it here

*We're experimenting with a decentralized open MOOC format. An area of particular interest is enabling participants to join at anytime - meaning that people can join throughout the 6 week duration of the MOOC. So if you're seeing this for first time checkout the Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things quickstart guide to help you get up to speed. 



WEEK ONE stats
Focus: Work in pairs + an intro to EDIT 
Estimated time to complete: 120 minutes 
Number of Challenges: 2
Number of Lecture Videos: 3
Number of Podcasts:
+ A Playlist on Microcontrollers & Mini PCs: 1

WEEK ZERO forensics - take a moment to reflect on the previous week.  

Special Event - hangout with MOOC instructors via uber conference Sunday, August 28th at 3pm - 4pm EST click here to RSVP


The hashtag for the MOOC is #SherlockIoT - Click here to view activity across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Vine and more via the MOOCs Sherlock Stream.

Social accounts for the MOOC
Twitter - @SherlockIoT 
Instagram - SherlockIoT
hashtag - #SherlockIoT
Facebook Group


  Welcome Message_


Jorgen and Lance sit down for a conversation about the evolution of the MOOC. Topics covered include logistics, lessons learned and a look at a decentralized approach for 2016.

Click here to listen to Lance and Jorgen's welcome message for WEEK ONE. 




Jorgen introduces the first phase of the EDIT method for collaborative design. He also details the importance of creating a "yes and" environment in an effort to establish a non-judgmental space. Click here to watch. 

Nick shares how an aesthetic can help you to design and build immersive story/play experiences that are more meaningful and emotionally resonate. He pulls back the curtain on his recent game "Higher Than the Stars" that utilizes NFC (near field communication) in a way that matches the feeling he wants players to experience. Click here to watch. 

Lance pulls back the curtain on the design of Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things. What does it take to build collaborative spaces? Join him as he steps into the Wilds of Collaboration. 
 Click here to watch. 

Bonus Viewing


From Arduinos to Raspberry Pis to Intel's Edison there are numerous inexpensive microcontrollers and Mini PCs on the market. We've pulled together a playlist that will give you an overview as well as some projects to try. It's important to note that many of these examples are merely scratching the surface of possibilities. To view the playlist click here. Also if you know of some interesting videos or resources on the subject please share them at the "Baker Street Irregulars" Facebook Group so that we can add them. Thanks!


 Sherlock Holmes _


This week we're joined by award winning author and Sherlock Holmes expert Daniel Stashower. During our conversation Daniel shares the creative challenges that Arthur C. Doyle faced, sheds light on what made Sherlock Holmes so unique at the time and explores what makes the detective and his loyal companion so iconic.

Click here to listen


Did you know that the deerstalker cap that we associate with Holmes is not found in any of the texts written by Arthur Conan Doyle, but rather it was added by a book illustrator? 

And what about Sherlock's signature calabash pipe? The calabash pipe was also not from the Doyle texts, but rather it was introduced as a prop by a stage actor a decade after the books were published, in an effort to give the audience a better view of the actor's face. 

As one of the early examples of fan fiction, details of the Sherlock Holmes storyworld have been co-created and crowd-sourced over the course of decades. Read the below article from the May 2014 issue of Harper's Magazine "A Study in Sherlock: How the detective escaped his creator." The author, Laura Miller, provides the origin story of Sherlock Holmes, as well as interesting background information about the original books and stage and early film adaptations. 

Now that the Sherlock Holmes storyworld has entered the public domain, we should expect more adaptations and explorations of this unique universe of characters to emerge. 

As you read this short article, consider how you might contribute to the ever-evolving Sherlock universe with your participation in this collaboration and the development of your prototype.

Citation: Miller, Laura. "A study in Sherlock: how the detective escaped his creator." Harper's Magazine. May 2014, Vol. 328 Issue 1968, pp. 89 - 95. Available below.

Click here to read 


HELPFUL HINT: You might want to let your followers know you are playing a game in your @ColumbiaDSL MOOC

To see activity around the InstaSherlock Challenge make sure to checkout the Sherlock Stream.

DEADLINE: Please complete by Sunday, August 28th 

  5x Why _


In this challenge you'll be taking turns interviewing your partner. There is only one question that you'll ask 5 times in a row. Resist the temptation to ask follow up questions and take note of what your partner is saying as you'll need to craft a summary. Click here to watch Jorgen explain the 5x Why exercise. For detailed challenge instructions click here.

Once you've completed the challenge please add the summary you've crafted about your interview partner to the "WEEK ONE CHALLENGE - 5x Why" post in the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. 

DEADLINE: Please complete by Sunday, August 28th 

Join the Baker Street Irregular Facebook Group to get the inside scoop on the MOOC. Introduce yourself and get comfortable. This is where things are asked and answered. A special group of consulting detectives helping each other out while sharing knowledge and skills. 

 Meet the instructors_

Jörgen van der Sloot develops creative thinking strategies. He is co-founder of FreedomLab Future Studies and lead developer of its ThinkLab methodology. In a ThinkLab a team is challenged to deal with a wicked problem from a future perspective in order to construct a shared worldview, vision and strategy. As a host and enabler of such strategic and creative conversations Jörgen helps a group of people to take an outside-in perspective. He designs a collaborative space and a collective mindset that generates new thinking and creates solutions for the future.   @medialoco

An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, Lance Weiler is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” He sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees; one focused on the Future of Content Creation and the other examines the role of Digital Media in Shaping Culture and Governance. He is a founding member and Director of the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab and a professor at the School of the Arts. His newest immersive storytelling project is entitled Where There's Smoke, an autobiographical immersive experience that mixes theater, storytelling, machine learning, game mechanics and fire.  @lanceweiler

Nick Fortugno is a designer of digital and real-world games and co-founder of the game company Playmatics. Fortugno has been the designer, writer, and project manager on dozens of games, serving as lead designer on the downloadable blockbuster Diner Dash, award-winning serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, CableFAX award winning Breaking Bad: The Interrogation and MUSE award winner Body/Mind/Change, as well as games with Red Bull, Disney, AMC, the Red Cross/Crescent, PBS and USAID. Nick is the co-founder of the Come Out & Play street games festival and teaches game design and interactive narrative at The New School – Parsons School of Design. @nickfortugno

In addition to your core instructors there will be a number of guest speakers who drop into the MOOC over the next 6 weeks.  This presents a rare opportunity to hear from leading practitioners working in the immersive storytelling/play space.

 How the MOOC works?_


Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is a decentralized MOOC (massive online/offline collaboration). This means that we are utlizing a number of sites and services. 

Forensic Files via MAILCHIMP   - The core of the MOOC will be delivered weekly via email. Over the 6 week course you'll receive a new email each week with lectures, tasks and challenges. You can find an archive of all the emails here.

Baker Street Irregulars via FACEBOOK - Need help? Looking to share insights? This closed Facebook group is the backchannel for the MOOC. Our goal is to establish a peer based learning & doing space. In order to do so we ask that you help your fellow sleuths. Click here to checkout the group. 

Watson's Notebook via MEDIUM - As you work in teams you'll be documenting your journey throughout the MOOC. Each team will create a Medium publication in order to record and share your progress. Starting August 30th click here to see Nick & Lance's Medium publication that is documenting their prototyping efforts leading up to the Sherlock event at Lincoln Center in early October.

Scotland Yard  - When we reach week three we'll open a special ideation/prototyping space. More details coming soon.

221 Baker Street - New to the MOOC? Checkout this quickstart guide to help you get up and running. 

The Strand Magazine - MOOC media will be available via YouTube and Soundcloud. Lecture slides will be available via Voice Thread. You'll be able to find the links you need in the weekly Forensic Files emails. 

 Sherlock links_ 

Sherlock Wiki - new to Sherlock Holmes or looking for a refresher. Checkout the Baker Street Wiki by clicking here

The works of Arthur Conan Doyle - looking to find a Sherlock Holmes story click here


 A collaborative space  

We're working hard to establish a non-judgmental space that embraces "Yes, And..." thinking. This applies not just to your design challenges and work product, but also in the way that you communicate and collaborate together in team and collaborative workspaces. We have a few collaborative guidelines that we've used over the course of the project that we'd like to share with you.


- Keep it fun

- Be kind

- This is a non-judgmental space

- Listen with intention

- Speak with passion

- Embrace "Yes, And..." thinking

- You are in an experiment

- This is emergent

- We embrace the fuzzy

- This is a copyleft project

- Learn Do Share


Rare interview with Arthur Conan Doyle
Click the image to WATCH this rare 1930 interview with Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes 
Click the image to READ 41 must read books on Story, Play & Design 
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is a prototype of the Columbia University School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab (Columbia DSL). The project is released under a Creative Commons International 4.0 Sharealike License. For more details see below. 

Creative Commons License
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things by Columbia University School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at & - the project was initiated by Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, Jorgen van der Sloot and a global community of creative thinkers & doers
Copyright © 2016 Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab, All rights reserved.

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