Games Trends

Valve: Teach With Portals Release

Edutainment ala the old Reader RabbitOregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is so 1990s. Meet Valve. It’s taking game tech-based education to a whole new level with its new Teach with Portals platform.

Okay..Okay..so it still LOOKS complicated and all Learny..

Valve’s Teach with Portals of course is based on the popular Portal series. It challenges you to complete a series of puzzles in order to escape confinement.

Intended for classroom use and handy for home teaching, Teach with Portals is intensely video game-like, an evocative approach targeting teachers and students alike. Its “interactive physics” tech is particularly cutting edge and is entirely based on Valve’s proprietary Source Engine.

This deceptively simple puzzle game weaves together a complicated story line, a ton of game play, and the use of true to life physics in order to guide players through the experience.

Who doesn’t love a Portal Gun, which lets you blast portals to travel through the game?

Educators are able to build lesson-based puzzles in Teach with Portals, too.

Portal 2 Puzzle Maker allows gamers, and now teachers and students to quickly and easily build their own puzzles.  Available via the new Steam  for Schools delivery system and via the Teach with Portals site teachers caan explore the Portal world for pre-built lesson plans, too. There are plenty of ideas to check out at Valve’s Education Forum to boot.

Want a closer look. This is a good video and demo from this year’s Games for Change Festival:

Valve looks to be leaning towards the future with their products and not just in the educational space.

Besides unleashing tools for education to take advantage and create new learning tools, Valve also announced it would be providing more of its development kits to the public.

Now there’s open access to the same tools that Valve’s in-house developers use to create their titles. That opens the doors to even more third-party and  independent titles. Valve is moving the ball forward in this sector in an effective, accessible way.

Hard to say for sure, but I think those kids are actually smiling while learning..

Here’s hoping someone you know gets to learn valuable material — from a real video game worth playing. For aNewDomain.net, I’m Chris Poirier.

About the author

Christopher Poirier

Technology Advocate, Journalist, Gamer