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The next Apple and IBM collaboration: In the classroom

Four school districts will have the chance to pilot a program using IBM software and services on Apple hardware in the classroom.

When Apple and IBM announced their surprising partnership in 2014, the focus was on the enterprise. Now, it may expand to education.

Texas-based Coppell Independent School District has an opportunity to be one of four potential districts to pilot IBM's Student Achievement App on Apple hardware. IBM hopes to have a prototype of the software for testing by the first half of the new school year.

Few details of the application are available but Apple Insider suggests it will provide student metrics as "a dynamic teaching tool that harnesses data analytics -- likely provided on the backend by IBM -- to supply educators with actionable intelligence on a per-student basis."

That sounds likely to me, given IBM's core competency in data analytics, predictive modeling and its Watson efforts.

If the pilot program is successful and expands to a broad range of school districts, it would be a big win for both the Apple and IBM partnership as well as for Apple in education.

Google Chromebooks have become a top seller in schools as districts seek low cost, easy maintenance devices in the classroom.

Apple has made inroads in schools with its iPad as well, but has had its share of challenges as well. The Los Angeles School District, for example, has considered asking for refunds from a large iPad deployment with education software that, according to the district, isn't up to par.