Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had a fascinating article about how different towns are retooling themselves to compete for talent and jobs in an economy where many people can live anywhere.
One of the most interesting programs was Kentucky's efforts to bring broadband internet connections to all rural parts of the state. Certainly this is allowing people to work from home while living in low-cost rural regions, and is also helping people start small businesses. A component of it is to distribute laptops to children -- see this article on No Child Left Offline.
While I know some readers of this blog aren't as big fans of distance learning as I am, I think there is potential for a program like No Child Left Offline to do good things for gifted education. When enough students have fast internet access, it is possible to tailor a curriculum to meet their needs using courses from elsewhere, access to mentors, etc. Not all small, rural districts have enough highly gifted students to create special classes or schools. But any district can come up with a computer. We'll see how this all shakes out.