I teach at an online K-12 grade charter school where students are given laptops to work at their own pace in completion of previously missed assignments, and to acquire needed credits to graduate. Most of these upper grade kids were kicked out of public schools for one reason or another and this place is pretty much their last resort. For several students, this means that if they don't adhere they will go back to jail or will simply be kicked out--including young teen mothers. Most of these kids are without any structure and has never owned a laptop computer to say the least, thus using it for reasons other than its intended purpose (school work). It is quite difficult to get them to do their school work and stay focused. I came aboard about about 2 months into the school year. They have full use of the laptops at school and are permitted to take them home. No one has taken the time to set up security measures that prevent unauthourized website visits. Until the students learn to respect themselves, others, and authority, and value education, they are doomed to continue the cycle of failure. I think giving middle and high schoolers laptops without enforcing strict and structured rules is a big mistake.
A lot can be said about online education. I welcome ideas and thoughts from others.