has developed a dedicated site and collection of resources, Teach with Portals
. The site was created to help educators use Valve's record-breaking game, Portal
, which teaches STEM and Language Arts topics. Subjects with correspondent resources on the site include: Physics, Math, Chemistry, Game Design, Language Arts, and more.
Teach with Portals provides resources ranging from dedicated lesson plans (see attached for a lesson on Terminal Velocity), a teacher forum, wiki (coming soon!) and access to their beta Portal2 Puzzlemaker for use in classes (more on this after the beta opens up). See the vialogue embedded below for a real world example of how Nashville-area teacher, Cameron Pittman
, is using Portal to teach Physics and learn more on his blog
Valve has created a community and a set of easy-to-access, standards-based resources for educators to apply the game in their classroom. Gamification is a hot buzzword in education, and it is refreshing to see the reverse use case— an educational layer being added to an established game.
It would be great to see more resources on how to access this hardware-based game in a classroom. Schools typically shun sites like YouTube, and it would be great if there was a "Dear Administrator..."-type letter for educators to download to help them to justify using a video game and gaming console in their classroom.
As we move forward with the ALT/BLT database, it will be important to remember that reviewing a collection of resources created by one group could be as useful to an educator as simply reviewing one product or site.
Teach with Portals is a valuable resource for bringing an interactive gaming environment to your classroom in a meaningful, standards-based way.