Oklahoma State University is the latest school to start setting students up with iPads. Starting this fall, a pilot program will give iPads to 125 students, and the university will monitor both how the device affects their learning and what their textbook costs turn out to be. Additionally, the classes in the pilot program will look at using both apps and Web-based tools on the devices, as is appropriate for the classroom.
What's interesting is that, instead of just handing out iPads to the students, OSU is really interested in how their students will go about using them. The results should be intriguing, not only for the lucky college kids who get to use iPads all semester but also for Apple and for other schools that are formulating plans over how to share and use technology. It certainly seems like having an iPad at college would be helpful in the traditional ways (you could read textbooks or take notes on it), but it's cool that OSU is thinking about new ways to use it as well, such as apps for tests or connections across local Wi-Fi for networked learning.
We'll see how OSU's program works out. The iPad is certainly a new kind of computer, and it sounds like OSU is looking for new ways of using it on campus.