Following Apple’s education-based event at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, the company has announced it is working with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Northwestern University to create a hub for training teachers on its Everyone Can Code curriculum. The hub, called the Center For Excellence, will be located at Lane Tech.
This collaboration is an extension of Apple’s existing Everyone Can Code program with the city of Chicago, announced last fall. The initiative promised to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s 500,000 students by helping them learn Apple’s programming language, Swift, through a curriculum distributed to students at CPS and City Colleges of Chicago.
Apple will work with Northwestern University to develop teacher training for the hub, with professors from Northwestern leading free sessions. In these sessions, teachers will learn the Everyone Can Code curriculum, and will also have the opportunity to be trained on a course for app development with Swift. Apple says it will provide iPads, Macs, carts, and accessories for the center.
The creation of the hub is a tangible step from Apple in its efforts to grab a larger portion of the education market in the US, which is currently dominated by Chromebooks. While its newly debuted iPad is under $300 for students and supports the Apple Pencil and a stylus from Logitech called Crayon, Chromebooks have been deeply integrated in school systems for years, due to their cheapness and the accessibility of Google’s apps.