Agency for Instructional Technology
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The National Instructional Television Library was formed in 1962, an agency funded by the U.S. Office of Education and operated by National Educational Television in New York City. NIT was founded as a way to distribute instructional television programming and associated materials to educational television studios throughout the U.S. In 1965, NIT would part ways with NET and relocate to its present home in Bloomington, Indiana, where it became the National Center for School and College Television. The NCSCT was operated by the Indiana University foundation. In 1968, the service was renamed the National Instructional Television Center. NIT would become an independent, self-supporting, non-profit organization in 1970, and would begin supplying educational programming to the newly-formed PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, which had risen from the ashes of NIT's former operator, NET. On April 11, 1973, NIT would be incorporated into the Agency for Instructional Television. It would slightly change its name to the Agency for Instructional Technology on July 1, 1984, to reflect other uses to electronically distribute instructional material, such as via videocassette and computer. AIT closed in 2015, and its archives and corporate files have since been moved to the Indiana University Libraries' Moving Image Archive.
National Instructional Television (Center)
Logo: On a black background, a stylized "N" (which consists of a right bracket or backwards "C"-like shape, an "I", and a slanted "T") slowly zooms out from the center of the screen forming "]IT".
Trivia: Shown before most PBS educational programming in the 1970s; indeed, there are many similarities between this and the original 1970 PBS ID.
Variant: There is a version with a copyright stamp fading in, sometimes without animation.
FX/SFX: The zooming out.
Music/Sounds: None; just the announcer saying, "The following is from NIT, National Instructional Television.", or "Under the supervision of NIT, National Instructional Television."
- At the beginning of Inside Out, the announcer says, "The following is from a National Instructional Television series. The series and related materials were developed and supported by 32 educational agencies with additional support from Exxon Corporation.".
- At the end of Sign Of The Times, the announcer says "This Images & Things program was produced by the Kentucky Educational Television network. For NIT, National Instructional Television, in association with the consolidation of 26 educational agencies."
Availability: Seen on VHS/DVD copies of Self Incorporated, Inside Out, and Ripples sold on AIT's website. Most programs from this era come from either WNVT in Goldvein, VA or KETC in St. Louis.
Editor's Note: None.
Agency for Instructional Technology/Television
1st Logo (1973-1983)
Nickname: "Multicolored Abstract AT"
Logo: On a black background, a stylized, multicolored "at" (which are connected to each other and are made up of 2 lines sandwiching 3 smaller lines) zooms out from the center of the screen, starting out blurry but gets clearer. Once it reaches the center of the screen, the text "agency for instructional television", with a copyright stamp above "agency", appears below. The text is written in a rounded yellow font.
- An all-white version of the logo exists with no animation, an expanded copyright stamp, and a different font for "Agency for Instructional Television", which is also capitalized properly.
- On Wordsmith, the above version is used without a copyright stamp and a bigger "at". The announcer also says "The following program is from AIT."
- On Check It Out, the logo briefly takes up the whole screen before zooming out to reveal "Under the Direction of" above it, a copyright date below it, and also "Agency for Instructional Television" and it's former address. All of it in white Times New Roman font. It doesn't have an announcer.
FX/SFX: The zooming out.
Music/Sounds: There is a "ding" as the copyright stamp appears. Other than that, it is just the show's theme as an announcer says, "Under the supervision of AIT, Agency for Instructional Television".
Availability: Seen on programs of the period, such as Self Incorporated. The white version appeared on Check It Out, Wordsmith, and Bread & Butterflies.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1978-1980)
- Opening: On a lavender background, we see many spinning multicolored maps of Canada and the United States intersecting with each other. The continent then turns white with outlines for the states and provinces. They then get filled in with orange as a spinning yellow "at" (in the same design as the second logo, but made with 2 solid stripes) comes from the top right of the screen. The logo then disappears via giant stripes wiping away the logo. It then cuts into the show intro of the time.
- Closing (Thinkabout): We see the Thinkabout logo in yellow changing colors from orange and yellow, then it zooms out to reveal the multicolored North Americas. The rest is the same as the opening, except once the logo disappears, it fades to the closing credits of the show.
Variant: There's a filmed version.
FX/SFX: The spinning maps, the highlighting, the "at", and the "scratching". All cool-looking Scanimation effects.
- Opening: The opening theme to the show (Thinkabout, one of the only shows known to carry this logo, has a theme that starts off with a chime scale, and as the map turns white, a synth "thud" can be heard, with a piano playing throughout the logo. The chimes restart after the announcer finishes his line.) with an announcer saying, "The following is from a cooperative project for acquiring skills essential to learning".
- Closing: At the end of the show, the announcer says, "[NAME OF THE SHOW] is supported by state and provincial agencies working through the Agency for Instructional Television. Together... serving education.". It starts with the chorus line of the theme song, once the states fill with orange, a chime scale was used accompanied by a musical scale that loops until it reaches the closing theme.
- On some episodes of Thinkabout, the announcer would be absent.
- On On The Level, the announcer is different and says "The following cooperative project is supported by state and provincial agencies working through the Agency for Instructional Television."
Availability: Extremely rare. Can likely be seen on AIT's (very expensive) DVDs of Thinkabout, and also has appeared on On The Level.
Editor's Note: The spinning maps may surprise a few, but it's a cool logo that was sadly short-lived.
3rd Logo (1982-1985)
Nickname: "Blue Spinning AT"
Logo: On a black background, the same "at" from the 1st logo in blue appears and spins out, while moving back. When it stops just above the center of the screen, a copyright date appears in Courier, with "agency for instructional television" appearing in the same rounded font as the 1st logo, but in white.
Variant: On Math Works, the logo was updated for the name change a year earlier, featuring a plain white Helvetica font for the new copyright tag, which wipes in downwards. The announcer, who's now female, also says the updated name as well.
FX/SFX: The spinning out.
Music/Sounds: Just the show's end theme (or none) as an announcer says, "Under the supervision of the Agency for Instructional Television".
Availability: Extremely rare. It was seen at the end of early episodes of It Figures before being replaced with the next logo. However, it was revived to be used on Math Works.
Editor's Note: None.
4th Logo (1982-1987)
Logo: On a black background, multicolored states and provinces zoom out of the screen in rapid succession to form North America from the previous logo. Once they all zoom in, the familiar "at" in white zooms out from the top right of the screen, leaving a white trail. After that, the whole logo flashes and turns green. "Together" appears below the logo, followed by 3 dots that pop up one by one, before "serving education." appears.
Variant: On Principles of Technology, the logo for CORD (a weird green "C" with "ORD" in between) zooms out to the bottom left shortly after the AIT logo. A short version has the logo start when "Together" is onscreen.
FX/SFX: The states, provinces, and the "AT" zooming out, the flashing, trail, and the words appearing.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized accordion-like tune with an announcer saying, "The following has been developed by state and provincial agencies in association with the Agency for Instructional Television. Together... serving education." Three quick popping sounds are also heard when the three dots between "Together" and "serving education" appear.
- On the later variant a female or child announcer says the same message above, but says "Agency for Instructional Technology" instead, since AIT changed its name to its current one in July 1, 1984. Also, a THX-like sound effect was played when the AIT logo zooms out.
- Principles of Technology uses a different announcer saying a slightly different version of the spiel, which goes as "A project of state and provincial, vocational, and technical educational agencies in association with the Agency for Instructional Technology and the Center for Occupational Research and Development. Together... serving education."
Availability: Several programs from this period are still distributed by AIT (and are still being aired as part of the instructional television schedules on public TV stations in some areas); this can be considered rare. Principles of Technology is one such show, as well as later episodes of It Figures.
Editor's Note: The CORD logo in the variant doesn't blend well.
5th Logo (1987-1993)
Logo: On a black background, an outline of the usual North America zooms out to the center of the screen, leaving a blue light trail in the process which then retracts into the outline when the logo finishes zooming out. White outlines of the states and provinces are drawn on the map as well as an outline of Hawaii appearing below California. The states and provinces then light up in many different colors in rapid succession. A blue "at" (a slightly different design, although it still has the same shape) appears from the top right of the screen and zooms out northeast of the North America. The "at" "shines", while the outline of North America disappears. The logo fades slightly while the text, "Together... Programming for Today's Learner" zooms out from the bottom of the screen to the middle ("Together..." wipe in instead). The "at" shines again.
Variant: On Geography in the U.S. History, the outline only consists of the continental USA, Alaska (though without its islands), and Hawaii. The logo is now also higher and located closer to the center (and doesn't shine, kinda), and the text is now computer-generated in a bold Arial font. The announcer now comes in later, sounding to have a younger tone to them, and omits "and provincial" due to the obvious lack of Canada.
FX/SFX: The zooming out, the writing of the outline, the lighting up of the states, and the "AT" shining.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized tune with violins with a female announcer saying, "The following has been developed by state and provincial education agencies in association with the Agency for Instructional Technology. Together... programming for today's learner".
Availability: Some older AIT programs with this version of the AIT logo, such as Amigos, are still in use by some public TV stations so this may make an occasional appearance.
Editor's Note: The beginning of the logo bears a striking resemblance to the 2nd Roadshow Films (Australia) logo, but the variant also is clearly made to be a bit cheaper, as the "at"'s shining is off of it.
6th Logo (1990-????)
7th Logo (1992?-2015)
Logo: Against a black background, we see a dark image of North America surrounded by a blue aura turning to face us (white outlines of the states and provinces are also shown on the map). As this happens, a bluish rectangle with rounded corners flips around, and the letters "AIT" in a white futuristic font with a line going through the center flip around and stop right on the rectangle. The map shines as the words:
slide out from the left of the rectangle. "Together...Serving Education" sometimes swivels into view while zooming out.
FX/SFX: Modern computer graphics.
Music/Sounds: A piano/synth horn fanfare, sometimes with a male announcer saying "A presentation of AIT".
Availability: Probably the easiest to find, as it's AIT's longest running logo and more commonly seen (just don't expect to see it on any PBS shows; during this time, the channel had their own educational television programming company).
Editor's Note: None.