What I want to focus on in this post is iCloud's ability to help you find and/or "remote wipe" (which does exactly what it sounds like) your iPad. After setting up iCloud on your device, you can, as it mentions in the above post, download the Find my iPhone app. This app also locates iPad, but further confuses people because if your iPad were lost, what good would it be to have an app on that missing device to find it? That sentence made me feel like a tree fell on me in the forest with no one around to hear it.
Presumably the Find my iPhone app would be helpful if you have multiple devices, but the whole function is also accessed another way. If you have turned on the Find My iPad function in Settings>iCloud, as is shown in the picture from the above post:
|Find My iPad=ON|
|Click to enlarge|
From here, you can Remote Lock or Remote Wipe (Erase) your iPad, thus protecting your student data. You can also play a sound that may help you locate your device, or send a "this device is being tracked" message that sometimes gives you a better chance of having a thief abandon your device (or you can freak out your teenager this way).
I hope you never have to use these steps, but it's really helpful to know about iCloud.com!