iZone is a catalyst of innovation across the New York City Department of Education, (NYCDOE) the largest school district in the country, serving 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 schools. We provide the supports and resources necessary to empower educators to design 21st century learning environments that better prepare our students for success.
In 2010, the NYCDOE launched the Innovation Zone (iZone), a dedicated Office of Innovation that would support schools in personalizing learning to accelerate college and career readiness among our students. Started with 81 schools, the iZone now includes nearly 300 schools from across the city.
iZone works on Three Levels to Promote An Innovation Ecosystem:
• Supporting Innovation in Schools
• Driving The Market
• Fostering Systemic Innovation
Since its inception, the iZone has launched a number of tools and strategies to promote innovation at three distinct but integrated levels: school, market, and system. At the school level we create initiatives to support personalized learning methods, such as blended learning; at the market level, we launch challenges and hackathons to the edtech community to develop software solutions that meet real learning needs; at the system level, we advocate for important policy reforms to enable innovation in our schools.
The NYCDOE was the nation’s first district to invest in a strategy to increase personalization and drive public sector innovation from inside out. The iZone will continue to work at three levels - school, market and system - in order to radically improve outcomes for all students across New York City.