Managing iPads is very different to Macs and PCs. There are a wide range of solutions for managing iPads, but usually schools fall into two categories – individual use or shared class sets.
The methodology and tools for each category are very different.
In 1 to 1 or BYOT programs, where everyone has their own iPad, you may prepare the device, but ongoing management is best done by the user, including installing apps. A mobile device management (MDM) solution such as Profile Manager or Casper can be useful for asset management and deploying app redemption codes to users. Further information on Profile Manager in this video.
Class sets of iPads shared across the school need to be managed differently. Apple Configurator is a fantastic tool for this – allowing you to install both free and paid apps, taking advantage of the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for apps, plus configuring and locking settings using profiles. Here is a great video on Apple Configurator