The concept is simple: instead of bringing in speakers to the tune of thousands of dollars for fees and renting out enormous conference centers with textbook salespeople running everywhere, just bring together educators for one full day to share and learn from each other. No sessions are organized in advance - just the structure is in place. I have attended two of these in Philadelphia and loved each one of them. I have also advocated for their use in other places in my life as well. I tend to learn quite a lot from others through direct person-to-person sharing as well as the Twitter backchannel and Google Drive storage of all kinds of lessons I can learn.
In August 2015, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave a $2 million grant to the EdCamp Foundation to continue and expand its work. While many are skeptical that it means they are "selling out" I think it is important to know how they intend to use it and who are the people running the organization. Based on its track record, I believe that this money will be funneled directly to help more teachers do exactly what they do: be professional in and out of the classroom.
One of the really cool new aspects that comes from this money, however, is to "provide 'discovery grants' of up to $1,000 for teachers to help them implement ideas they get from Edcamp at their schools." I will be very curious to see how that plan plays out and maybe will apply for one in the future!
I am ecstatic for this organization to grow and learn with its new funding source. Great job, guys!