If the iPad is going to make new inroads in education, let alone transform it, I think it will be by way of specialized apps that take advantage of the many great capabilities of the iPad, not through an augmented-textbook model that reanimates the corpse of Microsoft Encarta.
Is an electronic book a contradiction in terms? Is it trying to shoehorn the media of the old, the book, into the electronic age? Seems like that to me. Apple’s iTunes U is more interesting to me – it constructs a learning experience by aggreagting specific resources and tool from across the web. Nothing new there, but it is a more modern approach. Of course the downside is that not all the resources one might want to use are in electronic format. That is where iBooks and iBooks Author come in. It is trying to close the gap. It is also possible to think that if iPads, iBooks, and iBooks author gain a certain level of adoption, a new form will emerge. Think of how the rise of the iPod led to podcasting.