There's no denying that the education system needs some work. Children just aren't interested in the old boring way of learning anymore. Why would they want to sit in a classroom being lectured at for an hour when they could be spending that time playing video games? Well, what if the class was all about playing video games?
It's a crazy enough of an idea to work and Valve knows crazy better than anybody else. To that end, the game developer announced the Teach with Portals initiative. The idea behind it is that kids can learn about physics and critical-thinking skills while playing Portal 2. I didn't really get that because I was too busy falling in love with Cave Johnson, but I digress.
The Teach with Portals program isn't just an excuse to teach kids some science. Valve has really gone all out with this one by adding lesson plans created by real teachers that use the game to teach valuable lessons about science, thinking and the joys of space.
The best part is that teachers can grab Portal 2, the Portal 2 Puzzle Maker and a collection of teacher-created puzzles for themselves and however many students they have for free. That's right, folks, Valve is giving away Portal 2 and its map editor to students and teachers. That's about the coolest thing that any video game developer has ever done.
So now we have Portal 2, StarCraft II, Civilization and Minecraft all being used in the classroom in some capacity or another. It makes me wonder when we're going to get to use Gears of War in the classroom to teach students the proper way to shove a grenade down a subterranean monster's throat. You'd be surprised how many students are totally unprepared for such a scenario.
If you're a teacher or want to pretend you're a teacher, you can grab the Teach with Portals collection of here. I would turn a homicidal AI into a potato and back for a chance to learn with a video game. Best I ever got was Math Blaster so you kids better enjoy it, for my sake.