Tim Vesco (BSEd ‘01, MSEd ‘09) believes that in order for his students to become life-long learners, he needs to be a life-long learner. His motto: “You can’t teach wi-fi kids with landline strategies.” 

Throughout nearly 20 years of teaching in the small, rural district of Frontenac, Kansas, he’s made it a priority to learn new technologies that, once implemented in his fifth grade classroom, have enabled his students to learn by doing and connect with other students around the world. 

Creating song parodies, designing digital books, producing green screen movies, and incorporating augmented and virtual reality is a typical part of reading, writing, and arithmetic for his students. 

For several years, he’s raised funds using Donors Choose to participate in the Global Read Aloud Project, which has connected his class and the books they’re reading to other classes around the world via Skype and social media. 

Vesco said his hands-on experiences at PSU propelled him into the teacher-leader he is today; as an undergraduate, he was active in Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity and the Pitt State Homecoming Committee, learning invaluable communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, and in the classroom, he was inspired by professors Alice Sagehorn and Brenda Roberts.  

These days, he connects and collaborates with educators across the state, country, and world via Twitter: at 8 p.m., each Monday, he can be found moderating #ksedchat for more than 3,000 Kansas educators with the hope that it helps them to continue to learn and grow.  

“My students’ world is constantly changing and I need to change, adjust, and make learning exciting and meaningful for them,” he said. “I wish I was like Ms. Frizzle and could load up the students on The Magic School Bus and take them all over the world, but since I can’t do that, connecting students via technology is the next best thing.” 

Connect with him at @mrvesco.