Gates Foundation Awards $2 Million for Teacher Development

The Edcamp Foundation has announced a $2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of its efforts to provide participant-driven professional learning for teachers.

The grant will enable Edcamp to scale its model and provide support for more than a thousand organizers in the field. Edcamp also will use the funds to establish an Edcamp Discovery Grant program, which will award a hundred and fifteen grants over the next year to teachers to implement new ideas in their classrooms; support regional summits for organizers; and provide organizers with basic conference supplies through its Edcamp-in-a-Box program.

Launched in Philadelphia in 2010 by a group of teachers, the Edcamp model is built on the notion that educators learn best from their peers and can enhance their craft through dynamic open discussions. Since its inception, more than seven hundred Edcamp conferences have been held in twenty-five countries.

"We were thrilled to have this level of support from the Gates Foundation," said Edcamp Foundation executive director Hadley J. Ferguson. "Not only is this funding a game changer for what has been a grassroots movement since it began, but it is a testament to the work that thousands of teachers and administrators have been doing during their free time — exchanging ideas and learning from colleagues in an open forum unlike any other professional learning platform."