Edcamp Foundation Receives $2 Million Grant from the Gates Foundation

edcamp logoIt was announced this month that the Edcamp Foundation (a non-profit) has received a $2 million grant from the Gates Foundation. Edcamps are “unconferences” that bring together teachers, tech experts, entrepreneurs, and others in education.  They have been going on since 2010 and have become a viral movement. In 2014, 225 Edcamps were held.

The Gates money comes from that foundation's interest to bring focus back to the teachers. Part of that is public relations as the Gates Foundation gathered a reputation for basing teacher the past few years. Among k-12 teachers, their support of the Common Core Standards was also not popular.

The bulk of the money goes to programs with some of it helping establish a better organizational structure nationally. There are planned five regional summits for organizers. California, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts have the most EdCamps, and will likely be four of the five locations for these summits. Some will go to further fund more Edcamp-in-a-Box kits each year. These provides the essentials for hosting an Edcamp. Boxes typically take about $300 for the Foundation to put together, so some of the Gates money will go towards pumping out more of these kits. The money will also be used for “discovery grants" of $500 to $1000 grants that teachers can apply for to develop an idea that they heard about at an Edcamp.

A future plan that fits into the Gates Foundation philosophy is for better data collection on various forms of Edcamp impact in the classroom.


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