Providing answers to general inquiries

General iZone FAQ

What is the iZone?

iZone is a catalyst for 21st Century learning 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 work with schools, the edtech marketplace and policy makers to design and scale promising learning models that prepare all students for college and careers.

Are you a tech initiative?

We’re about personalization, and technology can certainly play an important role in helping teachers tailor instructional material and approaches to better suit each student.  But even more importantly, truly personalizing the entire school environment for both students and educators means taking new approaches to how we—from the classroom to the district—define and solve our problems.  That’s why we work across three levels: school, edtech market, and system.

How can I learn more?

To learn more about iZone and how you can get involved, email innovation@schools.nyc.gov.

How does the iZone support schools?

iZone guides schools as they design new personalized learning models. Based on your school’s needs, iZone provides training, professional expertise, policy support and community events that support your work.

How can I apply to be an iZone school?

There are a couple of entry points for a school to be a part of iZone.  One entry point is through iLearnNYC, a group of schools within iZone that aims to meet the needs of individual students through blended learning.  Stay tuned for details on the application process through our website.  Another entry point is through School Challenges, open calls for schools to join our community in designing and scaling innovative solutions to current problems in schools.  Schools can also participate in Innovation Exchange (iX) events to meet like-minded educators, work with edtech developers, and more.

Which schools are eligible to be a part of iZone?

All NYC schools are eligible to apply to be a part of iZone.  Selection for programs, such as iLearnNYC and School Challenges, is based primarily on the school’s vision and commitment to personalizing learning. For some initiatives, other restrictions may apply and will be clearly indicated on our resources and applications.

How can my child enroll in an iZone school?

iZone schools adhere to the same enrollment and application processes as all NYC public schools.

Can I attend an iZone event?

Some iZone events are open to the public and you are always welcome to attend.  If you have an interest in a specific event but registration is limited, contact us.

I see something I’m interested in but it says it’s for Educators or Start-Ups and Developers, can I still get involved?

Parent and student voices are vital to the work we do and there are several ways you can get involved.  Let us know if you’re interested.

Does a student need a computer at home to attend an iZone school?

No. We recognize that not every student in New York City owns a computer or has access to the internet at home.  Accordingly, many iZone schools provide students with laptops during school hours or in some cases allow students to bring them home for evening use.

Does the iZone mean more homework?

Many schools in the iZone are thinking through how learning can happen anywhere and at any time, depending on each student’s needs, but this doesn’t mean more homework.  It may mean more time spent learning outside of the traditional school day, based on a student’s preferred learning style and pace.

How can I apply to work with the iZone and/or an iZone school?

There are many ways to get involved.  You can apply to hackathons and Innovation Challenges to create better learning tools for students, teachers, and families or participate in events such as Shark Tanks, where you’re invited to demo your product for teacher, student, or parent “shark” panels.  To learn about what it’s like to work with us, attend a Meet the DOE session, where you’ll chat with experts from the offices of curriculum, procurement, innovation and IT.

Which edtech companies are eligible?

We are committed to helping developers of all stages design, pilot, and validate new educational technology solutions through collaborative relationships with carefully-selected iZone schools.

Any other questions?

For any other inquiries, please contact us.