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A guide to buying educational DVDs

Educational DVDs can be used throughout school, and within home environments, to stimulate learning and to make it more fun too! This article gives some general hints and tips for sourcing your own educational DVD resources, for all ages.

What are you looking for?

There is a multitude of educational DVDs out there, for different age ranges and different subjects, and all are presented in differing styles. Consider what age your child is
If he is in foundation stage, why not look for DVDs which teach some general life messages and morals through stories? If your child is at secondary school, however, you may be looking for a DVD, which is factually accurate and stimulates new academic ideas.

Foundation stage

Foundation is a crucial learning period, and there are hundreds of DVDs to choose from. Childseyemedia.com provides resources which are "highly recommended" by the Times Educational Supplement. Their DVD compilations, designed for both school and home, aim to provide life lessons, such as "Keeping Healthy, Staying Safe". You should definitely consult this website if you want to improve your child's social and practical skills. The "Jump Ahead" series of educational CDs for PC and Mac, by Focus Multimedia, are excellent for foundation children and improve academic skills. The games contain maths, literacy and logic problems for all age ranges, including foundation. They are available on Amazon.com. This website is a valuable resource to browse for all types of educational resource. Of course, children's BBC and ITV is also excellent for educational programmes. The "fun" attitude of all of these resources will ensure that your child doesn't really know that they are learning!

Primary

The Channel4 online shop (Shop.channel4learning.com) has many primary level resources. Probably, the best find is Maths Mansion, for ages 7-11. Children are captured by Bad Man and imprisoned in his castle. They can only escape if they can solve his maths puzzles! All problems are connected to the maths curriculum, and encourage children to problem-solve in a fun way.

Secondary

Due to subject specificity, this can be a more difficult stage. However, again the Channel4 website triumphs. There is a particularly strong selection of DVDs regarding sex education, which include video diaries and dramatised situations to stimulate discussion in class and to make teaching a little easier! Use your imagination and passion for your subject If you are teaching Shakespeare, buy a BBC DVD adaptation and play individual scenes as you read them in class. As DVDs can be very costly, why not record a History Channel or BBC documentary and show it in class? Or, use YouTube clips of programmes? Our televisions provide us with learning resources every single day, and we don't always notice.

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