Shortly after establishing a presence in Herndon, Va., internet search giant Google Inc. has partnered with Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools to outfit the district’s schools with software to help students learn geography, reports the Washington Post. The deal is one of 300 partnerships the county school system has with local businesses–a number the schools would like to increase as the economy sours. Companies are often drawn to the county in part because of the school system’s strong reputation, said Jay Garant, coordinator of business and community partnerships for Fairfax schools. The district’s partnership with Google is still being finalized, but the company plans to make an enhanced version of its Google Earth software available free to students and to train teachers to use it. Garant said the software, which has searchable maps and satellite images, could help environmental-science students zoom to the Everglades or history students view the pyramids in Egypt. Mike Bradshaw, director of federal enterprise sales for Google, said the software could be used to show off national parks or to chart the course Christopher Columbus sailed. Google is looking forward to working with "an accomplished school system" and to making "geography more fun" for students, he said…

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