In the vanguard of education, the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in metropolitan Washington, D.C., are committed to expanding the frontiers of learning with their stellar use of technology.

Consider the live, televised conversation with orbiting astronauts that FCPS students experienced not long ago. For Fairfax County students, this kind of educational experience is not all that unusual. And that's a key reason the school system has been called the "best in the nation" by at least one researcher.

For the students at FCPS' Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, last Nov. 15 was more than

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