Apple has a long legacy of providing services to schools and teachers, but the industry has shifted in recent years as the Chromebook has completely changed the way classrooms work. The company is no doubt looking to take back some of that mindshare. This morning, it sent out invites for an event, asking attendees to, “take a field trip.”

The event, which is slated for the Chicago-area March 27, promises to offer “creative new ideas.” Is it a hardware launch? Perhaps something akin to the event Microsoft held roughly this time last year, where it launched Windows 10 S and the new Surface Laptop?

The iPad has long been the centerpiece of Apple’s education strategy, so it seems like a safe bet that we’ll be seeing something related to that line. In fact, the educational element has been baked into the product’s pitch since launch.

While the tablet market hasn’t exactly been catching the world on fire of late (in fact, it’s been declining), Apple’s slate is still a bright spot in the declining category. The iPad certainly seems ready for a refresh, and rumors have been arriving from all sorts of strange places pointing to new devices on the way.

Of course, even if new hardware does arrive, the event will no doubt be about more than just devices. Apple’s been showcasing some interesting software solutions that help give educators and school IT departments more control over individual tablets, along with a new slate of educational apps.

Likely the company with showcase products in the hands of students and make the case for why its premium offerings are ultimately the better solution than the Chromebooks that have flooded the educational market in recent years — and for that matter, those $289 Windows S laptops.

Apple could have chosen any day to announce the event, of course. Surely it’s just a coincidence that the invites dropped the same day Samsung’s latest flagship hits the market, right?

 



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