Luis GaitanCurrent IIH Fellow
Ed.M. candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Luis Gaitan is a Ed.M. candidate in Learning, Design, Innovation, and Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Originally from El Salvador, Luis immigrated with his family to Houston, Texas, at 13 years old, escaping the gang violence in his hometown of Soyapango. During his time in Houston he developed a passion for technology, education, and advocacy for undocumented students like him.
Luis began his career as a 3D Modeler at Epic Software Group in the Woodlands, Texas, creating 3D models and animations for Oil & Gas companies. He eventually became the Lead Video Game Designer for the company, where he developed training simulations of oil rigs and LNG tankers using Unity3D and Virtual Reality. During this time, Luis collaborated with Dr. Hannah Gerber, professor of Literacy at Sam Houston State University, to create “Litter Leader”, a video game that teaches youth in developing nations how to recycle. This project led to a published article in the “educational technology” magazine and a patent for “pro-social educational game systems.” Luis presented his research at various conferences, including the Games Learning Society Conference, the Association of Educational Computing and Technology, and the 3rd Annual Mobile Learning Week at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Luis became a classroom teacher. Helping schools build computer rooms and makerspaces, plus teaching Technology & Design K-12. Luis developed a curriculum that uses commercial off-the-shelf video games to teach various subjects. His innovative teaching style was marked by his trademark Mario Hat that he would wear during class, which made his students feel welcome and represented. Now Luis works as the Game Design Studio Manager at the College of Arts Media and Design at Northeastern University. He is spearheading the creation of a new Game Design Studio facility for the ideation, development, and testing of games.