The answer to the mass syncing question is yes. There is a device. These links are examples:
For more general info about charging and syncing multiple iPads check out www.ipadcart.info
I'm experiencing the same difficulty rolling on 200 ipads. I've made the master and short of restoring each one from a backup, I don't know how to keep the nicely organized folders. Have you had any luck?
To answer your other questions, you can sync 30 to one iTunes - even 200!
I feel that iPads would be effective at any learning level. I was on a plane last week and sat next to a woman in her late 60s. She had an iPad and really knew her way around it. I took my parents who are in their 80s to a local retailer selling iPads. They were hesitant at first, but within minutes, become transfixed on the device and the content that could be read and found. Conversely, I have two different teacher colleagues with young children, ages 3 and 4. These preschoolers use their parent's iPad to listen to stories and operate it with no assistance.
I used to teach elementary school--for 17 years-most recently as a technology integration specialist. I worked with young students (kindergarteners are five years old) and they understand about the value and fragile nature of electronic devices. In fact, I feel that they are much more cautious when using gear than students four or five years older.
So, from the woman on the plane and my parents to the young preschoolers, I feel that most any age user can use mobile devices. Use of particular mobile devices may be more a learning preference issue, rather than an age issue.
We have a conversation similar to this going on at: http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topics/apps-ideas-advice-for-using
If anyone has any great ideas for tablet uses - iPad or Android - feel free to join that conversation as well.