The iPad is a great new form factor device … is it a useful device for education?
Certainly it can be useful for several reasons:
The iPad is super light and therefore convenient to carry for students. It can replace heavy textbooks as they become available as ebooks (this also has many media and search related advantages). Students are actively involved with the device as they type, pinch, view media, design etc … its tactile and engaging.
The iPad runs IOS which is Apples operating system used on iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. It is a mixed blessing in that it is super stable and secure while being fairly gated and completely unsupportive of flash (adobe).
Applications (apps) though can be used to do most things you need.