Apple is sending out invitations to an education event on March 27. Using the tagline ‘Let’s take a field trip,’ Apple says that the event will focus on ‘creative new ideas for teachers and students’ …

We’ve seen two invitations so far, in the USA and UK, both inviting people to an event taking place at a high school in Chicago.

The invitation contains no details of either the content or format of the event. It takes place at Lane Tech college prep high school, which is home to students from the 7th grade through to college prep. The school has a strong tech focus

Lane Tech College Prep provides challenging and meaningful curriculum in a technologically advanced learning environment that empowers students to attain their education goals and prepares students for the 21st century. As a school of academic and athletic champions, Lane Tech offers a wide variety of high-quality learning and extracurricular opportunities which includes the largest Advanced Placement (AP) program in the city; Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program with the largest science fair in the city and state; Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) program; award winning Music and Art programs; award winning journalism program; and highly acclaimed athletic program that has been named the CPS Athletic School of the Year for 6 out of the last 8 years. In addition, Lane Tech offers over 100 electives including world languages (with the newest addition of Arabic), Advanced Placement, and 21st century technology courses such as 3-D animation, digital design, engineering design, robotics, computer programming, and web design. Improving upon the technological aspect of the school, Lane Tech has recently added several new technologically advanced laboratories and facilities including a Reading and Writing Computer Resource Lab, Apple Computer Lab, and a STEM wing complete with an aquaponics facility, two multi-purpose computer labs, and two lecture spaces.

Chicago makes sense as a venue. Back in December, Apple announced that its Everyone Can Code initiative would be rolling out to half a million students in the city. The company said that the app economy has created more than 64,000 jobs in Illinois.

Apple has been heavily involved in programs to get iPads into schools, adding multi-user support in 2016 direct response to requests from the education sector. As predicted by 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo, Apple should be announcing its new ClassKit framework alongside other announcements.

Last year Apple launched a $329 9.7-inch iPad, which makes the device significantly more affordable for schools than earlier models. It has been reported that it is working on an even cheaper model, with a target price of $259.

The Cupertino company is said to also be working on a lower-cost version of the MacBook Air for release sometime next quarter, with schools again a possible target market.

Some are speculating that the hand-drawn graphic is hinting at an announcement in which the iPad and Apple Pencil will play a role.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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