[Gabriel Yanagihara]

Welcome to my personal blog – a digital tapestry weaving together the threads of my professional journey in the dynamic world of technology and education. Here, I chronicle my adventures and insights as an educator, tech enthusiast, and AI advocate. This blog serves as a living archive, capturing the milestones, challenges, and triumphs of my career. It's a space where I share my experiences in integrating cutting-edge technologies like AI into education, my explorations in the realm of esports and game design, and my endeavors in professional development and community outreach. Whether you're a fellow educator, a technology aficionado, or simply curious about the intersection of teaching and tech, this blog offers a window into my world. Join me as I navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology, sharing my learnings and reflections along the way. Let's embark on this journey of discovery and innovation together.

It was an exhilarating experience leading the "Design Thinking with AI" workshop in partnership with Ian Kitajima of Design Thinking Hawaii. The event brought together a curious and enthusiastic group, eager to explore the intersection of artificial intelligence and design thinking principles.

During the workshop, we dived deep into how AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude, and Mid Journey can enhance the creative process inherent in design thinking. We explored various scenarios where these modern AI tools can be applied, highlighting their potential in generating innovative solutions and driving creative thinking.

The hands-on approach allowed participants to engage directly with these tools, providing a practical understanding of their capabilities. It was fascinating to see how AI could complement the human-centric approach of design thinking, offering new perspectives and insights.

One of the key takeaways from this workshop was the importance of blending AI's analytical power with human intuition and empathy. We discussed the ethical considerations and the need for a balanced approach when integrating AI into our problem-solving toolkit.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge and learn from the participants' diverse experiences. The workshop was not just an educational journey but also a testament to the evolving landscape of technology and its role in shaping our future.

[Reflecting on My keynote breakout session at Schools of the Future Conference #SOTF23]

I recently had the incredible opportunity to present at the Schools of the Future Conference #SOTF23, surrounded by some of the most vibrant and visionary educators I've ever encountered. It was an exhilarating experience to share and exchange insights on the innovative use of AI in education.

In my workshop, I showcased the diverse ways AI has revolutionized my teaching methods over the past year. From leveraging AI tools for creating engaging lesson plans to utilizing platforms like ChatGPT for interactive learning experiences, it was a journey of discovery and innovation. I also shared my experiences with AI-driven assessments and how they have helped in providing personalized feedback to students.

The most rewarding aspect of this experience was not just sharing my stories but also learning from fellow educators about their visions for AI in education. The enthusiasm and creativity in the room were palpable, and the exchange of ideas was nothing short of inspiring.

I hope that my experiences and the applications of AI I shared have ignited a spark of curiosity and innovation in all who attended. The possibilities with AI in education are limitless, and I am excited to see how we all will harness this technology to enhance our teaching and learning experiences.

Thank you to everyone who joined my session. Your passion for education and willingness to embrace new technologies give me great hope for the future of teaching and learning. #SOTF23

This intensive summer course offers students the opportunity to develop the technical and leadership skills necessary for building and managing their own esports program. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on experience, participants will learn about various aspects of esports, including game selection, team management, event planning, and community building. Students will also have the chance to put these skills into practice by working on projects such as establishing an esports club, organizing and hosting an esports tournament, and more. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the esports industry and equip students with the tools they need to succeed in this rapidly growing field.

In this engaging series of lessons, students will use Minecraft to collaborate and build in a virtual world while learning about the Hokulea and its global voyage, as well as various STEM concepts. Through a variety of projects, students will have the opportunity to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to design their own voyaging canoe, using resources provided by the Polynesian Voyaging Society and its partners. These lessons are suitable for students in grades 3-8 and are led by Gabriel, who also provides free resources for sharing these lessons online.


In these workshops, Gabriel uses Minecraft to spark students' interest in STEM through an exploration of various Mars missions conducted by NASA and planned by Space-X. Students will learn about the challenges of surviving in space and use their creativity and problem-solving skills to design and build their own rockets to take them to the surface of Mars. Once there, they will be tasked with constructing a NASA Mars colony and conducting experiments to thrive in this harsh environment. These lessons are suitable for students in grades 3-8 and are led by Gabriel, who also provides free resources for sharing these lessons online.

[Video Game Design]

VIDEO GAME DESIGN (Grades 7-9) is a course that guides students through the process of designing and programming video games. Throughout the course, students will learn about computer programming, graphic design, animation principles, psychology, project management, and teamwork as they work on a range of coding projects. The course begins with an introduction to block-based language in MIT's Scratch and progresses to more advanced programming languages like C# in Unity3D and C in Unreal Engine. By the end of the course, students will have a solid foundation in the skills and knowledge needed to create their own video games. 

[Design and Fabrication]

INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL DESIGN AND FABRICATION (Grades 7-8) is a course that provides an introduction to digital design and fabrication techniques. Students will learn to use 2D vector graphics software and safely operate an industrial laser cutter. They will then move on to 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D fabrication using 3D printers. As they progress through the course, students will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects that require the use of CNC, laser cutting, and 3D printing skills. By the end of the course, students will have gained a strong foundation in digital design and fabrication techniques and the confidence to apply these skills to a variety of projects.

To create a welcoming and supportive environment for female students interested in exploring the fabrication lab and enrolling in STEM courses, Gabriel has partnered with several of his students to establish a cosplay club. This club serves as a safe space for students of all backgrounds to learn the basics of EVA foam prop and armor building, 3D printing, and laser cutting. As they develop their skills, students will have the opportunity to work on service projects in partnership with a local female engineer, such as creating wheelchair costumes to donate to organizations such as the Shriners Hospital for Children and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The goal of this club is to provide a supportive and inclusive community for students to learn, grow, and make a positive impact in their community.

Gabriel has been using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in his projects since obtaining an Oculus DK1. Some of his notable projects involving VR and AR include VR Minecraft showcases at the Hawaii State Capitol, VR/AR coding courses at 'Iolani and Punahou schools, and professional development workshops on AR/VR tools for the classroom at various conferences. Gabriel is committed to integrating these innovative technologies into his work to provide engaging and immersive learning experiences for students and educators.

[Dungeons, Dragons and designers]

In this after-school class, Gabriel teaches elementary and middle school students the fundamentals of creative writing, drawing, communication, and collaboration through the lens of Dungeons & Dragons. Through this popular table-top role-playing game, students will strengthen their written and verbal communication skills and exercise their creativity and public speaking abilities. In addition to playing the game, students will also have the opportunity to design their own adventures and practice their teamwork and problem-solving skills.