I must admit I was a little too excited about getting the new iPad. I watched the announcement live via Twit.tv (2:00AM) and ordered it as soon as I could access the overloaded Apple website.
My predictions were a little overblown (as I expected) but I did expect to be blown away by the screen resolution on this "resolutionary" device. My first impression when I opened the box last Friday was that it looks almost identical to my iPad 2. Despite being a little thicker (which you can't really notice) there isn't much difference at all. The screen resolution is sharper and text is easier to read, but is far less dramatic that I had expected. It is much like switching between HD and SD on my flatscreen TV. There is a difference, but both still look great.
I do, however love the improved camera. Pictures and videos are far clearer than with my iPad 2. I hate having to drag around my Nikon camera when I travel and it will be great to have my new iPad as the only device I carry with me. I love that I can shoot videos and edit them immediately as well as use one of the many photo apps to edit photos.
If you are looking to purchase new iPads for your school, I would recommend getting one new iPad for each class with the rest being iPad 2's. The overall difference between them is does not justify the cost difference but having one will be great for taking class photos and videos. The poor quality of the photos on the iPad 2 pretty much makes them useless for yearbook photos or school publications. Be sure to get at least 32GB of memory since the cheapest model runs out of memory very quickly once you start adding apps and content. In addition, the extra memory required for the retina apps, is going to mean that many of your favorite apps are going to now take up more space. You should also consider getting at least 5-10 3G models for the school so that you can utilize them for field trips and excursions.