My little for-profit company, 4D Solutions, itself a DBA (doing business alias) of Dawn Wicca and Associates, sponsors my not-for-profit operation, my Oregon Curriculum Network (OCN), which in turn shares its content through websites, workshops, videos, conference presentations, online meetups, stories here on Medium.
OCN is not currently registered as a nonprofit in the State of Oregon (it’s simply not profitable, operates at a loss) so you cannot claim donations to it as charity on your taxes.
For me, OCN is a business expense, like a hobby. I’m able to take in gifts, but that’s a human freedom, nothing law ordained.
I created my Oregon-centric OCN because I wanted my ideas, even if somewhat global in potential, to come off as localized (place based), as with localization comes context, which is half the battle, content being the other half.
Making the Silicon Forest my backdrop provides context for the foreground action, which has to do with curriculum development, building up a stash of ideas and encouraging teachers to steal them.
Some teachers give me explicit credit. A lot of folks know of my programs and agendas. I’ve been at this for awhile.
In broad outline, I’ve been an advocate for using higher technology in the lower grades, meaning I’m a big fan of laptops for high schoolers, going back to the One Laptop per Child initiative, which featured the XO line of computers, and a Python-based operating system (Sugar).
I’ve long been frustrated with this tendency to squander time learning maths, while not learning any computer programming in parallel, but instead using calculators.
In the Silicon Forest at least, this seemed way too dark ages.
These days, I consider that particular battle largely won, as the writing is on the wall, even where the reality is still behind the times.
Students have those laptops and are tackling Python in droves, a gateway to other languages.
Jupyter Notebooks may not yet be the norm, but most teachers know what they are, and in the upper grades (e.g. in 13–16, the four years college) they’re used extensively.
My other agenda is still at the ground floor stage, as it involves making less inevitable, more elective changes. One might say this second agenda depends on the first, meaning until we had some serious computing power, we could not do much with computer graphics.
We’re ready to make STEM and PATH more colorful, more right brained.
Graphics don’t cost much to publish in the cloud. Moving to colorful graphics also means moving away from publishing on paper, although that’s still useful to do, in the form of both books and large format posters.
The way I’ve been sparking an interest in computer graphics, is to marry science fiction, literature and the modicum of math needed, the vector-based algorithms.
We go back to the life and times of the great American futurist and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller and we explore his spatial geometry, of geodesic spheres, of great circles, and of spun, nested polys, the Matryoshka dolls of his synergetic geometry.
I’ve found the best way to push this agenda has been to internationalize (network globally), i.e. I only need a small footprint of local demo projects, field tests, prototyping, here in Portland, in order to establish lasting relations with institutions around the world.
Buckminster Fuller enjoys high name recognition. A new biography came out last year.
The curriculum materials are well developed, both by me and by sister companies, including some legit nonprofits (ones you might donate to and claim).