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 "Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last."


The Red Circle

 Welcome to Week Six_

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.

Welcome to WEEK SIX - the MOOC has made its way to Scotland Yard our focus turns to prototyping, design documents and documentation via medium.

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, an experience that makes social impact and/or something else you dream up. The choice is yours.

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.  The challenges have a rolling deadline so if you're behind don't worry as the MOOC is open to new participants throughout its duration. 

CHALLENGE WEEK 3, 4 & beyond
WEEK THREE's challenge the "Marketplace of Ideas" continues into WEEK FIVE and beyond.  To receive an invite to the doable prototyping platform (aka "Scotland Yard") please complete this form. Once you do we'll send you an email invite. IMPORTANT the email will come from If you don't receive one please email us at 

Join us at Scotland Yard 

1. Please watch this video 
2. Make sure you have completed WEEK TWO & THREE's challenges
3. Complete this form
4. Look for an invite via email to join 

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 SIX stats
Focus: Ideas + Prototyping + Design Documents
Estimated time to complete: self-paced 
Number of Challenges: 2

Number of Podcasts: 1
+ Playlist: Help us curate a playlist of interesting projects 
+ Story & Code Bonus: 
Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create

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

To see an archive emails please click here

Special Event - hangout with MOOC instructors and hear from special guests via uber conference every Sunday. Next hangout is October 2nd at 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT 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 _


This week Nick and Lance discuss MOOC WEEK FIVE and the value of creating a Design Document. They pull back the curtain on their prototyping efforts in NYC and the challenges they are facing to create an AI enabled rotary phone with a team of volunteers. The hangout ends with a Q&A with MOOC participants and plans for WEEK SIX and beyond. 

Click here to listen to the most recent MOOC hangout. 



A Collaborative Playlist of Projects 


As we move into the ideation and prototyping phase of the MOOC, we thought it'd be interesting to share some immersive story/play based experiences. In an effort to provide some creative inspiration, this playlist includes examples that are fiction, doc, browser based, mobile, physical objects as well as live events. We've left the playlist open in case you have something that you'd like to add as well. 

Click here to view the playlist


 Dose of Sherlock Holmes _


Arthur Conan Doyle, the Spiritualist Behind the Rational Sherlock Holmes 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most enduring creation was Sherlock Holmes, the logical detective who appeared in dozens of stories and four novels by Conan Doyle and who has more recently been portrayed in movies by Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. Many would suspect that Conan Doyle, a trained physician who was often beseeched by the public to apply his skills to real-life cases, might have been as inflexibly rational as Holmes.

Click here to read 

 Prototyping + learnings _


In an effort to document ideas, learnings, resources plus individual / team protoyping we're encouraging everyone to make use of Medium

You can create a single article or if it makes sense for your team you can create a publication

Here are samples of what others are doing with Medium...

NYC team's prototyping - to read a recent article click here to see our publication click here

Sao Paulo team's prototyping - to read click here 

Turin team's prototyping - to read click here


  Design document  _




Design documents (we recommend doing this in a google doc) are a way to capture and document your work in order to help share it with other collaborators. In addition the steps to creating a design document help you to think through your idea/prototype in a holistic way. For more on the design documents make sure to checkout our recent MOOC hangout audio. Nick provides a detailed breakdown on the value of design documents and how to craft an effective one. 

Over the next two weeks we'd like you to work as a team to create a design document  that includes the following. You're free to expand upon this and add what you feel will help you to make your ideas more tangible for your team and others. 

  1. A description of the prototype (make sure to include which Sherlock it's inspired by)
  2. An explanation as to why your team selected this idea to prototype
  3. Illustrations and or photographs of your prototype
  4. Photographs or video of various iterations of your prototype — we'll want you to test an interaction of your prototype and ways that the audience will come in contact with it or use it. Note the following: what did you test, how did you test it, what did you learn and how are you applying it to your design?
  5. Create a user persona (to see how to create a user persona via an empathy map click here)
  6. User Journey Script/Map for your prototype (to see a sample of a journey map click here)
  7. A break down of features & functions of your prototype
  8. A rough budget breakdown of what it would cost to build your prototype

To see an example Design Document for the Rotary Phone click here.  Please note that this example is from last year. We're in the process of developing a new design document and will be sharing it in the next week or so. 

To submit your Design Document + your Medium journaling of your prototyping and learnings from the MOOC please complete this simple form so that we can help aggregate all the links.  Click HERE

DEADLINE: Please complete by Sunday, October 6th 

  Non-judgmental feedback _




1. Please make sure that you've completed the "Appreciative Inquiry" and "Shaping a Design Question" Challenges for WEEK TWO

2. We're inviting participants of the MOOC into PLEASE WAIT for an email invite - it will come from doable. To get invited PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM

3. When you've received an invite to the "doable" platform you'll please visit to sign in. Please note that the email will come from We created a video to give you a simple overview. Click here to view.


Scotland Yard is all about "Yes and..." thinking
In the video below Jorgen provides an overview of how to get started with "Non-judgmental Feedback." The goal of non-judgmental feedback is to shape your response in the form of a question. Try to build upon what you've read within someone else's idea by starting your question with the words "Yes and..."

VERY IMPORTANT As the ideas begin to appear on Scotland Yard please leave 3 questions as a comment under 5 different ideas that are not your own. These questions should embrace "Yes and..." thinking. In order to do so please try to start your questions with the words "Yes and..."

Click here to watch

DEADLINE: Please complete by Sunday, October 2nd 


If you haven't already please make sure to join the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. From now until the end of the MOOC much of the work will be done within teams. The Facebook Group is the best way to stay in touch and updated about the MOOC.

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. In order to gain entry to this special space you'll need to craft a Team Design Question and submit this form.  When we receive the form we'll send you an email invite to the prototyping platform. 

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 __
Beau Lotto – Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create
Beau Lotto’s research into perception has shown that we don’t see the real world—just our version of it. It’s a version we’ve evolved to perceive, where shadows, shapes, and even how we understand time are meanings we ascribe to what we’re seeing. Our senses are telling us stories about the world—and we can control those stories to change our perceptions and ourselves.  Click the image to WATCH
Story Thinking: how Sherlock Holmes can help us understand and embrace emergent technologies.  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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