This month Valve has announced that it will be offering teachers free copies of Portal 2, the studio’s first person puzzle title and 2010 game of the year, along with a version of Steam specifically designed for the classroom.
The new program, called Teach With Portals, will allow teachers to create custom lessons within the game on a variety of subjects, including physics, math, chemistry, game design, language arts, and more. Once a teacher applies for the Steam for Schools program, they will be given access to free digital copies of Portal 2, including the new level editor, along with prepared lesson plans and a teachers-only community forum where educators can discuss the ways in which they’re teaching with portals.
According to Valve, the creation of Steam for Schools was a direct response to teachers who were looking to use the innovative gameplay of the puzzle game to bring interactive lessons to their students. “We heard loud and clear from hundreds of educators that they wanted a place to learn about and share compelling, engaging and creative content for using Portal and Portal 2 in their classrooms,” the company said.
Portal 2 seems like a truly ideal platform for creating fun, interactive lessons for students. The newly-released level editor is incredibly straightforward and intuitive enough for most any users to be able to start creating puzzles of their own in no time, and Valve’s Source engine, which powers each title released by the Seattle studio, isn’t intensive enough to outpace most current computer systems. Additionally, the Portal franchise is not violent or profane, making it a suitable teaching platform for students of all ages.
As a service, Steam is also a perfect fit for the classroom environment. The digital distribution service will allow students to easily access the game on whatever computer they’re currently using — even at home — providing Cloud storage where they can immediately grab the most current lesson plan through the Steam workshop.
In order to gain access to the free program, teachers only need to provide their school information, along with the subject and number of participating students. Head over to TeachWithPortals.com to find out more about Valve’s latest innovative initiative.