Learning with Portals

Two teachers, Steve Isaacs and Cameron Pittman, discuss how they successfully engaged and motivated students with Portal 2, an award winning commercial video game by Valve Software. Steve, a middle school video game design teacher in Basking Ridge, NJ, uses the Puzzle Maker, the Portal 2 world-building tool, to teach computational thinking and the iterative design process in his courses. Cameron, formerly a high school physics teacher in Nashville, TN, turned the Puzzle Maker into a virtual physics laboratory. Leslie Redd, the former Director of Educational Programs at Valve, joins them to discuss how she created a community of educators through the Steam for Schools “Teach with Portals” project, which provided free copies of Portal 2 to educators and an infrastructure for teachers to collaborate. The session will focus on successes and challenges of using Portal 2 in the classroom from the perspective of educators and the companies supporting them.

STEM Education Through Gaming
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