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Apple to host educational event in Chicago on March 27

Apple on Friday sent an email to AppleInsider and other press outlets, inviting them to an educational event in Chicago scheduled for 10 a.m. local time on March 27.

"Let's take a field trip," the email reads. "Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students." The event will happen at the Lane Tech College Prep High School.

Apple has yet to provide other details, but the custom logo used in the invitation resembles the sort of pen stroke an iPad Pro owner might make with an Apple Pencil.

In December, the company announced a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago, intended to introduce Swift programming curriculae to the city. That program is due to launch this spring, and indeed the March 27 event could be meant to kick it off.

Though it's now open-source and has other uses, Swift was developed primarily by Apple for use with iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Encouraging its adoption may mean more apps for the company's platforms, and possibly better recruiting opportunities.

Apple could conceivably use the event to announce one or more new iPads. While new Pro models are more likely to ship towards the summer, the company could revamp its $329 "budget" iPad, often aimed at schools. The current model lacks Pencil support, which would be a natural addition for the educational market.

An updated iPad app for teachers — Classroom 2.2 — is in beta testing.

The company has also been rumored as preparing a 13.3-inch Retina MacBook, possibly intended to replace the aging MacBook Air.

A 2012 educational event in New York City saw Apple introduce iBooks 2 for the iPad, but no new hardware.