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Top 10 Educational Videos

Remember the days of video tapes, CD-ROMS, and encyclopedia’s on your shelf?  The world wide web now provides free and accessible information and the London Times has provided the top 10 best educational videos.  I reference these often and hope that you find videothem to be great resources as well.

The American magazine covers a huge range of subjects, from space and the environment to animals and even world music (where you can listen to thousands of artists). What’s shared is a passion for the living world. Inspiring stuff, brilliantly presented.

Videos, podcasts, a vast photo archive, 3-D image files and pages for missions where you can view raw data as they stream in, make this a must for anyone with even a fleeting interest in space.

Expertly written articles explaining everything under the sun, from how a Taser is put together to the history of the jeep. Hundreds of videos add to the experience.

It might be a giant plug for the Discovery Channel’s roster of shows, but the dozens of microsites here are uniformly excellent. Links to the websites of sister channels (Military, Science and more) drive an even bigger wedge between you and any work you might have been thinking of doing.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington is the world’s largest museum complex, and its magazine is a rival to National Geographic. The associated website is a rich source of eye-opening good reads.

Possibly the best BBC microsite — a simple collection of video clips. Choose from 370 animals to see related footage, and scare your friends when they walk in by playing the “what they sound like” widget. (Works better with tigers than rabbits.)

TED is an organisation that invites inspirational people to an annual conference to share their thoughts on the world, technology, design and more. It videos the results and archives them here. Will keep you hooked for days.

Videos and photos that live up to the simple tagline “images of life on earth”. Endangered species are a speciality; the promise is they will live on here if nowhere else.

Once registered for free, you can browse through hundreds of articles culled from the popular magazine. They are sorted into categories and, despite the lofty academic credentials of the authors, are easily readable.

PBS is a publicly funded American TV channel with an emphasis on science, the arts and history. Watch entire shows or browse their excellent, richly detailed sites.

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Hottest Educational Gifts

Being the tech geek that I am, one of my email subscriptions is to Google Tutor. This week I received a list of the 5 Hottest Educational Gifts for Christmas.  I thought I would pass these along.  And, Santa… if you happen to be reading our blog, please remember that I would love a Kindle this year.  I think I have been extra good!

1. The Amazon Kindle Although not technically a “toy”, the Amazon Kindle is the perfect educational gadget for anyone age 12 and over. Download thousands of books directly to the Kindle and the fact that it cannot be used for anything but reading ensures your teen is actually expanding his or her literary horizon when they are staring at the screen. You can also upload PDF files, and stay on top of the news with the Kindlesanta sleigh

2. The Wii fit is a great gift for the whole family.  The Wii Fit can be used by anyone, with any fitness level and of any age, making it one of the best family gifts! Not only can you learn from the Wii, kids will stay fit, focused and active throughout the winter. This is the perfect holiday gift that actually gets kids off the couch.
3. Lego Ultimate Building Set: the Ultimate creative and educational gift Lego sparks the imagination of all age groups.  Kids get creative, learn to play together, and learn to use their imagination when playing with Lego.  The Lego Ultimate Building Set has all the pieces needed for hours of play time and lots of creative fun. Lego is also one of those timeless gifts that everyone loves, and boys and girls alike have played with Lego for a few generations. It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime, and that is also why it is in this list of favorites.

4. Playskool Talking Truck  The Playskool Chuck my Talking Truck speaks over 40 phrases and words. It is the perfect gift to keep little ones entertained for hours, and help them practice their verbal skills. The coolest part of this toy is that it will start driving when it is called. It will talk when you lift his dump bed, press his bumper, or press the top of the truck, making play time discovery (and learning!) time.

5. Snapp Circuits SC-300 This toy isn’t just my favorite, it also has the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, was named the Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, and is among the Dr. Toy Best Educational Products. With Snapp Circuits you get over 60 parts that can easily snap together to create alarms, doorbells, burglar alarms, radio, and over 3oo other fun technology projects. Kids with a heart for tech will love this educational toy! It is without a doubt one of the best educational toys, for both boys and girls who like to create fun electronic projects. Although kids get to play with circuits and build projects, they can do this safely without a risk of injury. The toy comes with a manual showing how to create the 305 possible projects. This is definitely not a toy kids get bored with easily.