Teachers can now claim complimentary access to the amazing puzzler Portal 2 for use in classrooms, Valve has announced.
Kotaku broke the news, citing it as being part of Valve’s new Steam for School program. This stripped-down version of the program only features software that Valve deems (or adapts to become) educationally beneficial. At the moment there’s just Portal 2 and its level editor accompaniment.
Anyone working in education that’s interested can sign up to the beta by registering with the Steam Forums and emailing their details to email@example.com.
If you’re wondering how and why Portal could have anything of educational value then Valve has explained on its Teach with Portals site:
"The Portal franchise was developed as an entertainment product, but the games have the potential to be used as experiential learning tools," it explained.
"In the Portal world, students interact with physically simulated objects (cubes, catapults, lasers, etc.). The interaction tends to be free-form and experimental and as students encounter new tools and challenges they may develop an intuitive understanding of physical principles such as mass and weight, acceleration, momentum, gravity, and energy.
"The games also put a premium on critical thinking, spatial reasoning, problem solving, iteration and collaboration skills, and encourage overall inquiry into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning."
Valve has laid out a series of lesson plans on the site, with more to come in the future.