Steve Vigilante, deputy CIO of the New York City Department of Education, knows that facilitating technology learning for the city’s more than 1.1 million students, staff and administrators takes diligence and hard work.

Using technology for the classroom and running it efficiently is an effort the Department of Education emphasizes. In a pilot project to improve online learning, Vigilante and his team supported the department as it created iLearnNYC, an initiative to develop various online courses for students in New York City schools. Advanced placement classes and courses to assist students recover credits needed to graduate are just a couple of examples of what the initiative offers.

The project launched September 2010 with 42 middle and high schools. Due to the pilot’s success, Vigilante said 120 schools will be on board with the project by September of this year. iLearnNYC is part of the larger Innovation Zone initiative, an effort to help public schools break from static teaching models.

“I believe iLearnNYC is the way of the future,” Vigilante said. “I think it’s the largest and most revolutionary attempt to addressing classroom learning attempted by the Department of Education.”

Vigilante said IT is not what drives a business, but what supports a business, so it’s crucial to carry out the vision of the business people, which in this case, are the educators.

“We’re working toward being able to develop and deliver a variety of content to schools and allowing teachers to work that into their daily curriculum and assist them in delivering instruction.”

View all Top 25 Honorees for 2011

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.