Perhaps the most profound deficiency at this point is the Chromebook's snubbing of Java. Apparently it has something to do with security. Ok, fair enough. The end result is that any applet requiring a Java plugin simply will not work - that is, unless you know how to make it work.
In the Chrome store, you can find and install a free little extension called rndr. Once installed, it is ready to use as an as-needed proxy for viewing sites with java applets, Silverlight, GoToMeeting, and a host of other plugins. For instance, if you find yourself on an interactive education site with the broken plugin graphic like this:
...you just click the little rndr button on the top right of your browser to run the site through rndr:
In addition to the new, fully functional java "X-Ray" tool on this page, notice the watermark at the bottom and the (rather annoying) options pull-out tab on the right.
Now before we all pull muscles doing the happy dance over this workaround, it has been widely reported that using the rndr extension circumvents school and district wide content filters. There are different ways of filtering content, however, and I have yet to test this out with my school's network level filter. I will report back as soon as I have the chance.
Some java-heavy game sites don't work well or at all even with rndr either. Runescape is one I checked out for testing purposes, since they tend to push java to the limit. No dice, but that' not one I'd most likely use in class anyway.
The good news is that the vast majority of my favorite educational sites passed with flying colors, even without rndr. Here are some links just to share:
This is by no means a complete list, and my testing is no where near finished. As usual, one just has to try things out as they come.