MacRumors and Gizmodo are currently reporting that Apple are going to be doing an education based event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York next Thursday. The main current rumors suggest that it will be closely related to the iPad however there may also be links with Mac. Most people seem to reckon that there will either be a whole load of new education based content available (perhaps textbooks or courses) or that there is going to be a student based iPad.
I don’t think Apple would launch a student based iPad (I may, of course, be eating my hat on that by next week) or an eReader. It wouldn’t be the ‘Apple way’ to launch a product that would go against their own principals. The iPad is better than Android tablets at the moment because everything just works and the user knows it will work regardless of things like screen size and ratio. We already know that Apple don’t think smaller tablets are a good idea, so I can’t see that happening either. A reasonable explanation may be that they are launching a new iPad because they generally do that in the early part of the year.
Assuming that the event is launching a product/service directly linked with education a reasonable assumption may be that they are planning something (evil) to get Macs into schools because that is currently something almost exclusively dominated by Windows. The advantage of doing that would be to get dedicated users when they are young.
In my opinion the most likely idea is new content. iTunes U already exists and I would guess that it is going to be some sort of extension of that. I don’t think that anything can really be read into the fact that it is in New York or specifically at the Guggenheim either – an art museum does seem to be an unlikely setting for an Apple keynote. We’ll know by next Thursday…