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USC Upstate Facilitates Global Education Among High Schools on Different Continents

09- 29- 2006

Spartanburg, S.C. – Students from Spartanburg High School and the Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa will participate in a global classroom experience thanks to the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Beginning on Friday, October 6 at 8:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in Pretoria), the students will engage in a live interactive video conference that focuses on the similarities and differences in American and South African culture. Part of this discussion will examine whether globalization has impacted both cultures in the same way, or not.


USC Upstate and the University of Pretoria are making their teleconferencing facilities available to the schools for the event.  The Spartanburg High School students will meet in the Media Building, Room 124 on the USC Upstate campus for the video conference.


The global classroom project will start with video conferencing and then, over time, expand to include student interaction via the Internet and through digital photography. These activities are made possible by USC Upstate’s Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The global classroom project will continue for another two years, with the participation of several additional schools in both Spartanburg and Pretoria. 


"The global classroom initiative is very important for my students because it gives them an opportunity to talk directly with their peers in South Africa,” said Janis Haynes, a social studies teacher at Spartanburg High School and a primary leader of globalizing the curriculum at Spartanburg High School. “Even though the students are 8,000 miles apart, they can talk to each other, learn from each other, and realize that they share many similarities.”


Two of Haynes’ classes will be involved in the video conference on October 6. 


“I congratulate the teachers, administrators, and students at both Spartanburg High School and the Pretoria High School for Girls for initiating this exciting venture,” said Dr. York Bradshaw, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USC Upstate and the principal investigator of the COPC grant that funds the initiative. “Global education is not simply a ‘cool’ experience of some type; it is an essential part of education at every level. These two high schools recognize this necessity.”


For further information, please contact Dr. Bradshaw at 864-503-5700 orybradshaw@uscupstate.edu.