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"Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details."

A Case of Identity

 Welcome to Week Three_

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.

We now find ourselves at WEEK THREE - the midpoint of our journey together. 

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. 

For WEEK THREE you'll be teaming up via the Design Questions you crafted in WEEK TWO.  

Find 2 or 3 other Design Questions (posted in the "Shape a Design Question" thread on the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group) that you think embrace the following - please note it could be one or more of the three...

1. Could build upon your own 
2. That you find interesting 
3. That could be the opposite of yours 
4. Feels like a good creative spark 

The key is that you should respond in some way to the question - meaning that it inspires your own creative thoughts/process. For full details see the "Marketplace of Ideas" Challenge description and video below.  

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. 



Focus: Forming Teams, Shaping a Team Design Question & Entering the Marketplace of Ideas 
Estimated time to complete: 150 minutes 
Number of Challenges: 1
Number of Lecture Videos: 3
Number of Podcasts: 2
Number of Articles: 2
+ A Playlist on Altering Perspective with VR & AR 
+ Story & Code Bonus: Sensory Stories  + How Sherlock Holmes can help us understanding emergent technology

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

Special Event - hangout with MOOC instructors and hear from special guests via uber conference every Sunday. Next hangout is September 11th at 3pm - 4pm 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 _


Looking for additional help or clarification on the "Appreciative Inquiry" or "How to Shape a Design Question" Challenges from WEEK TWO?

Checkout our MOOC hangout from this past Sunday. Jörgen van der Sloot shares some insight on the EDIT process and provides insight on both challenges from WEEK TWO. And we have a special guest - Tommy Pallotta (
Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, Collapsus & The Last Hijack) drops by to discuss balancing interactivity and storytelling. Plus he shares thoughts on using AI creatively and the importance of humanity's role when it comes to intelligent machines.

0 - 25 minutes 
Intro and discussion with Jorgen van der Sloot

25 - 52 minutes 
Interview with Tommy Pallotta

52 - 102 minutes 
Week Three of the MOOC and beyond


Click here to listen to the most recent MOOC hangout. 




Ideate is the third step in the EDIT process. This week we explore ways to collaboratively ideate but first we'll examine the work we did in WEEK TWO. The design principles (that emerge from the Appreciative Inquiry) and your individual & team Design Question will provide the foundation for a "Marketplace of Ideas." Jorgen briefly setups up what to expect this week in the MOOC. 

here to watch. 

How can do Storytellers use IoT? Where do you start? From Raspberry Pis to Arduinos to Intel's Edison there are cheap solutions available and much of the code to get you started is online. Join Nick as he shares examples from some of his current projects.  

Click here to watch. 

"The Physicality of Narrative" is an exciting opportunity for stories to spill off screens and into the real-world. In this lecture Lance shares what it's like to stage a massive connected crime scene at iconic Lincoln Center Plaza in NYC. He also shares examples of enchanted objects and prototypes that came out the MOOC in 2015.  

Click here to watch. 

Bonus Viewing


The focus of this week's playlist is "Altering perspective a look at VR and AR." Special thanks to MOOC participants Leon and Mick for helping to curate this playlist! 

This playlist provides an overview of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), what they are, where they've been, and where they're going. We have included some fascinating Ted Talks, storytelling with VR, as well as introductory tutorials to create your own AR and VR. To view the playlist click here.

Also if you know of some interesting videos or resources on the subject please feel free to add youtube vids directly to the playlist or if you know of text, audio or video from a service other than youtube please share them at the "
Baker Street Irregulars" Facebook Group under resources. Thanks!


The following is a comprehensive report covering the past, present and future of VR from the Verge. 

 "The promise of virtual reality has always been enormous. Put on these goggles, go nowhere, and be transported anywhere. It’s the same escapism peddled by drugs, alcohol, sex, and art — throw off the shackles of the mundane through a metaphysical transportation to an altered state. Born of technology, virtual reality at its core is an organic experience. Yes, it’s man meets machine, but what happens is strictly within the mind."

Click here to read. 


 Dose of Sherlock Holmes _


We're joined by EJ Wagner a crime historian, lecturer and author. Her book "The Science of Sherlock Holmes" investigates the real science behind the fiction of Arthur C. Doyle.

Click here to listen



Story Thinking: how Sherlock Holmes can help us understand and embrace emergent technologies

"In the fall of 2014 we launched an ambitious collaborative storytelling experiment with an impromptu gathering of storytellers, game designers, makers and hackers. Initially it all started with a simple mashup of two things that ignited our imaginations — “Sherlock Holmes” & “the Internet of Things.” At that point in time a large number of works by Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, had just entered the public domain. Meanwhile the buzz of IoT, with its promise of everything rapidly connecting to the cloud, had experienced numerous fits and starts."

Click here to read more 


  Marketplace of Ideas _




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

2. Your work for both the "Appreciative Inquiry" and "Shaping a Design Question" Challenges should be placed on the Baker Street Irregulars Facebook Group. 

3. Review all the Design Questions and look for ones that address one or more of the following...

1. Could build upon your own 
2. That you find interesting 
3. That could be the opposite of yours 
4. Feels like a good creative spark 

4. Based on the Design Questions you've selected please contact 2 to 3 other participants in the MOOC. These fellow participants will become your teammates.

If you like, you're welcome to stay with the person you paired with in WEEK ONE or you can select new teammates the choice is up to you.

5. PLEASE NOTE that your team Design Question (meaning the one that you and your teammates craft together) will become your entry to the "Marketplace of Ideas." When you have crafted your team Design Question please complete this form. Once we receive your completed form, we'll send each team member an invite via email to join the prototyping platform aka as Scotland Yard.

In the video below Jorgen provides an overview of how to get started with the "Marketplace of Ideas." Also make sure to checkout this week's MOOC hangout convo mentioned above as Jorgen provides more detail and insight around WEEK TWO & THREE's challenges. 

Welcome to the "Marketplace of Ideas." In this challenge you're going to work to generate a 100 ideas based on the MOOCs design principles and your team's design question. IMPORTANT prior to diving into the "Marketplace of Ideas" you need to find other teammates (we recommend 2 or 3).  You'll do this based on finding other design questions that are similar, of interest and/or that you feel could be connected and built upon.

The "Marketplace of Ideas" Challenge will be taking place on a special prototyping platform. It will become our Scotland Yard - a collaborative space for design, ideation and prototyping. Over the course of Week 3 - 6 the MOOC will be utilizing Mailchimp, Facebook, Medium and a special prototyping platform aka Scotland Yard for the majority of the remaining MOOC work. It's important to note that after next week (WEEK FOUR) MOOC lecture content will lighten as the focus will shift to prototyping, testing and documenting our collective findings. 

In order to get an invite to the MOOC prototyping platform aka "Scotland Yard" you need to complete your team's Design Question. Once you have it please fill out this form. We'll be inviting everyone to the platform so please keep an eye out for an email invitation. If you don't receive one please leave a comment within the Baker Street Irregulars' Facebook Group and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Click here to watch

DEADLINE: Please complete by Monday, September 12th 

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. 

 Collaborator Spotlight_

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

“Why are you taking part in this MOOC?”

"I have a new passion project: Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things. You can learn about it here: #SherlockIoT is an initiative hosted by the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab. For education geeks, this is not a typical MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), instead it is a “massive online/offline collaboration.”

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. 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 __
Charles Spence – Sensploration (FoST 2016)
Charles Spence's research on multisensory experiences have changed the way we stimulate our senses simultaneously.... 
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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