Portal 2 enters the classroom

Valve has introduced their latest project pushing the company deeper into the field of edutainment
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The “Steam for Schools” program encourages learning through the use of the puzzle-platform game to develop areas such as critical thinking, spatial reasoning and problem solving skills.

At its core, the program is a stripped-down version of the company’s Steam software and will feature Portal 2 – which will operate as the game’s level editor and workshop for hosting user-created levels. Educators will have the opportunity to opt-in for the beta program this summer and the program will be free both during and after the beta period has ended.

Unfortunately for kids, teachers will be provided with administrator access to the software – meaning students will be prevented from sharing levels without permission.

Valve’s Leslie Redd was present at the recently held Games for Change festival held in New York City to discuss the project. He told those in attendance: "We have a limited version of Steam, which is called 'Steam for Schools.' And what we're doing is asking for teachers, after school programs, organisations – anywhere where there's a student relationship, which includes homeschooling – for them to submit a form to be part of it. It's still in beta,"

Redd also addressed the project’s free distribution to the education sector by reminding us “Valve is a commercially successful company,”

The project is a continuation of Valve co-founder Gabe Newell’s announcement from the previous years event that there is ‘no difference’ between the approaches to education and entertainment.

More information on the project is available at www.teachwithportals.com

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