For studies, I wonder what the iPad placebo would look like? Maybe a piece of cardboard spray painted? "We randomly assigned kids to one of two groups, in one group they received iPads, in the other grey pieces of cardboard. Kids in the iPad group were given SoftwareQ to use, kids in the placebo group had SoftwareQ written on their cardboard. In the post test, kids in the iPad group had a significantly higher appreciation for SoftwareQ (p>.0001) than the placebo group. Our conclusion is that everyone should buy SoftwareQ"

I'm thinking maybe compare learning outcomes in subject x (e.g. math) in groups of kids taught the same content. One group has iPads, one has boring old textbooks. If both groups have the books, one group doesn't have flashy iPad software.

Actually, your message highlights the problem: what is the actual advantage of an iPad,

specifically? If it can't be measured, what does this mean about the value of the device in a classroom?