Both of my kids are consumers of digital content and have access to a plethora of a devices that play this content. Henry (age 8) has an iPod Touch, Julia (age 12) has an iPhone, and we now have 2 iPads that we share. Our iMac is set up in our living room and is the main hub for our downloads. It's not unusual to catch one of my kids curled up in a chair in front of the computer as if it were a TV.
I've also found that my kids get resistant to trying apps and videos that I download for them IF I try to watch or play with them. If it's my suggestion, it just doesn't hold as much weight with them as if they found it on their own. So, the discovery approach works much better with them. I find content related to their interests and what they are studying in school, and put it on our various devices. At some point, they are likely to stumble upon this stuff and then they dig in to explore.
Henry, particularly, is very into watching educational videos. For instance, he loves watching National Geographic produced content on Netflix which we have set up on our Wii, our iMac and on our mobile devices. He also loves Smithsonian Kid videos download from iTunes. In fact, a few years ago, he declared he wanted to see the golden lion tamarin monkeys who live in the National Zoo and were featured in one episode. We recently fulfilled his dream and visited them in person on our recent trip to Washington, DC. The one thing that I've wanted to instill the most in my children is a love of learning, so when they get excited about things like this, I feel like I'm doing my job.
A few months ago while searching iTunes for science content as I'm working on a project aligning digital materials to an existing science curriculum, I downloaded a few episodes from iTunes from a show called SciQ. I've never seen this on TV and apparently it's provided the Smithsonian. I haven't actually watched an episode yet, but Henry found a bug episode today and was enthralled. He called me over to watch a segment on hissing cockroaches who are used to drive robots; it was fascinating and hilarious. The host's personality as well as the editing make this a very engaging show, and I thought I'd take a minute to recommend it here. You can buy the entire series of videos or rent individual ones in standard definition; I'm buying individual episodes in higher definition as I think Henry will watch these over and over again.
In terms of classroom use, think about set up a center in your classroom where kids can watch videos such as these. Use a multi-jack headphone splitter such as Belkin's Rockstar so that multiple kids can plug in and watch from the same device. Also, if you're looking for free resources, check out the Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman (also TV episodes are available for purchase) and Dragonfly TV podcasts.