Stanford gives ex-cons boost in starting businesses

Project ReMADE partners ex-cons with Silicon Valley venture capitalists and business executives

con-stanford-remadeTed Stanton lives in a 120-square-foot subsidized room in the Tenderloin, which he has converted into an incubator for his candy startup, Good Karma Karamels.

There’s barely room to sleep among his kitchen equipment, where the 63-year-old Vietnam veteran beta-tests new chocolates and dreams of reinventing himself from a guy who just served a decade in prison to an entrepreneur in a city where anything is possible.

“I want to have wooden candy pushcarts on the sidewalks of San Francisco,” said Stanton, who honed his skills in the prison bakery.…Read More

MOOCs face challenges in teaching humanities

Even as massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to assume an increasingly prominent role in education, regularly enrolling thousands of students from around the world in classes taught by professors from dozens of universities, their rapid growth has sparked a backlash focused on the potential loss of diversity and interaction in education, The Stanford Daily reports. In one such instance, the San Jose State University Department of Philosophy wrote an open letter in April to Harvard professor Michael Sandel, explaining their refusal to offer his edX course, Justice, as a part of their curriculum. “The thought of the exact same social justice course being taught in various philosophy departments across the country is downright scary—something out of a dystopian novel,” the letter read. “Departments across the country possess unique specialization and character, and should stay that way…Diversity in schools of thought and plurality of points of view are at the heart of liberal education.” That same month, the faculty of Amherst College voted against joining edX, a nonprofit founded by Harvard and MIT that has since merged with Stanford’s Class2Go platform, saying that doing so would run counter to its mission to be a “purposefully small residential community.”

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Stanford study says MRI scans can predict outcome of math tutoring

Some children displayed massive gains in math.

When it comes to math, MRIs may be better than IQs — and even past math scores — at showing whether a tutor can help a child master everything from trapezoids to trigonometry.

A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine says that the size and circuitry of certain parts of children’s brains are excellent predictors of how well they’ll respond to intensive math tutoring.

The researchers’ most surprising finding was that children’s IQ and math scores had no effect on tutoring outcomes, yet brain scan images “predicted how much a child would learn,” said Vinod Menon, a Stanford professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences who was the study’s senior author.…Read More

Colleges will soon have free access to the edX platform

MOOC advocates applauded edX’s decision to make its source code available to the public.

Colleges and Universities on June 1 will have access to the source code for what has been dubbed the “Linux of learning” after not-for-profit educational enterprise edX teamed up with Stanford University in making available a host of open-source online learning tools.

edX, launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced April 3 that programmers worldwide would have no-charge access to the web-based learning platform in June, as Stanford agreed to integrate parts of its Class2Go platform into edX.

The source code will eventually be available at…Read More