Starting this week, developers from a dozen high tech startups are entering New York City classrooms to help teachers brainstorm solutions to educational challenges. Among their projects: tailoring math lessons to middle-school students whose abilities may be grade-levels apart. The program is hosted by the New York City Department of Education’s Innovation Zone, or iZone, which works with schools to design and pilot new approaches to K12 instruction. Started under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010 with a federal Race to the Top grant and with funding from companies including Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, iZone was the first of a growing number of similar programs in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, California and other states. I spoke with Steven Hodas, executive director of iZone’s Innovate NYC Schools initiative, about this coder-educator partnership and about the growing role of technology in the classroom. A condensed and edited version of the interview follows.