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‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.’

A Scandal in Bohemia 

 Welcome to Week Two_

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 Two and the MOOC is gaining steam. 

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.

We're experimenting with letting people into the MOOC at any point in the 6 weeks. So if you're just seeing this for the first time or if you need a refresher we recommend you start here

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. 


Please post challenge submissions for Sherlock Storytime5x WhyAppreciative Inquiry and Shaping a Design Question on the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group.   

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 TWO stats
Focus: Design Principles & Questions  
Estimated time to complete: 120 minutes 
Number of Challenges: 2
Number of Lecture Videos: 3
Number of Sherlock Videos: 1
Number of Podcasts: 1
+ A Playlist on Storytelling with Data: a look at Watson, IoT & the Cloud
+ Story & Code Bonus: Stories that Respond to Emotions + Scarcity & Abundance in the Digital World.

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

Special Event - hangout with MOOC instructors via uber conference Sunday, September 4th 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


  MOOC weekly hangout _


On Sunday afternoons from 3pm - 4pm EST we hold a MOOC hangout via uber conference. In our first session Nick and Lance sit down for a conversation about week zero, one and beyond. Topics covered include: 1. Update on MOOC & weekly challenges, 2. A look into the prototyping process for the upcoming event at Lincoln Center, 3. Scoping for immersive projects that mix story and code, 4. Considerations when staging a hackathon. 5. Q&A from MOOC participants 

Click here to listen to the SherlockIoT hangout for WEEK ONE. 




Define is the second step in the EDIT process. This week we'll be taking a deep dive into the "WHY." Jorgen briefly setups up what to expect this week in the MOOC. Click here to watch. 

Nick provides an overview of MDA (Mechanic Dynamic Aesthetic) theory and how it helps to shape aesthetics within games and its potential within immersive storytelling experiences. Click here to watch. 

Lance shares the design principles that have emerged through the extensive prototyping of Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things. These four principles will serve as a core foundation for the MOOC - helping to guide each team's design and prototyping.  Click here to watch. 

Bonus Viewing


The focus of this week's playlist is "Storytelling with Data: Watson, IoT & the Cloud." As Lance, Nick and the NYC team prepare to take their prototype live at Lincoln Center on Oct 1st, they've been experimenting with a number of Watson APIs via the Bluemix platform. You can read about their prototyping here

This playlist provides an overview to cognitive computing plus tutorials and how-to's that can get you started with some Watson experimentation. 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 _


Maria Konnikova author of the New York Times best-seller, "Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes," discusses what it means to go beyond seeing to actually observing. In our fast paced ditigial landscape what can we learn from the mindfulness found in the character of Sherlock Holmes 

Click here to listen


It should have been an impossible task, or at least one that veered dangerously towards clichéd retread: taking one of the most iconic and reincarnated characters in literary history and contemporizing him in a way that felt both daring and faithful. And yet that’s precisely what writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have done with Sherlock, the updated version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved sleuth on PBS’s Masterpiece.

Click here to read. 


  Appreciative  Inquiry _



In this challenge you'll be taking turns interviewing a partner. You can continue with your partner from WEEK ONE or you're welcome to find someone new. We suggest that you reference the pairing spreadsheet and/or look through the members of the Baker Street Irregulars' Facebook Group and reach out to someone.

Unlike the 5 x Why challenge - last week which utilized a self reflective technique designed to give you time to surface answers on your own - the Appreciative Inquiry is an opportunity for the interviewer to help dig for insight.

We're giving you the first question and then after that the follow up questions you ask are up to you. 

"Share an enchanted moment from your life that was transformative and why?" 

Please make sure to take notes as you interview each other. 

For detailed challenge instructions click here

Once you've completed the challenge please add your shared "characteristics" as a series of keywords to the "WEEK TWO CHALLENGE - Appreciative Inquiry" post in the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. 

DEADLINE: Please complete by Tuesday, September 6th 


  Shaping Design Questions _



After you've completed the Appreciative Inquiry take some time to sit with the design principles. This is an individual challenge, meaning that you're going to Shape a Design question on your own. Don't worry in part two of this challenge we'll be helping each other to improve them. 

Think about how you could create a prototype (an immersive experience, game, story, app, enchanted object, educational program, social impact project or something else) that embraces the design principles. How could you build something that was enchanted and transformative? Consider the following Design Challenge which is for the whole Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things project. 

"Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things explores new forms and functions of storytelling in an effort to drive innovation, collaboration, learning, doing & sharing."

This step is critical and we ask that you take some time to reflect. Consider the design principles and the overall design challenge for the project. You're going to craft a design question that starts with the words "How could we..."  Click here to watch Jorgen explain how to shape a design question. 
Once you've completed the challenge please add your design question to the "WEEK TWO CHALLENGE - Shaping a Design Question" post in the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. 

DEADLINE: Please complete by Tuesday, September 6th 


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. 

 Collaborator Spotlight_

Each week we look to feature some collaborators from the MOOC who are documenting their learning and prototyping journey on Medium.

Sherlock Holmes and the Immersive Storytelling Adventure 

"As the “Sherlocks” were animatedly discussing exactly which theory of time travel was at work in the case they were trying to solve, my nerd-self did a little skip of joy: this was just the kind of debate my colleague and I had envisioned while designing the User Journey for this particular iteration..." Click here to read more


 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


 Story & Code __
Rana el Kaliouby - Responsive Stories (FoST 2016)
Rana el Kaliouby is teaching technology to become more emotionally intelligent and responsive by mirroring the ways in which humans react to narratives. 
Click the image to WATCH
Scarcity and Abundance in the Digital World - Click the image to READ
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
CopyLEFT2016 Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab open prototype

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