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About Applied Technologies

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Applied Technologies has been developing hands-on, multimedia courseware for middle and high school students since the late 1980s.  We focus on delivering important content and real-world activities that give students a great understanding of what it's like to work in a particular field.  Read on for more of our story.

1980s

Learning Labs, Inc. logoSince 1967, Learning Labs, Inc. has been selling career and technology training equipment to middle and high schools, community colleges, technical schools, and universities all over the Southeast. In the late 1980s, middle and high school teachers began asking for more than operations manuals for the robots, mills, and lathes they were buying from Learning Labs. They needed step-by-step directions to help guide students in using the equipment but, more importantly, content as well. What was the history of these machines? Who invented them? How are they used in industry? What kind of training and education does one need to be proficient in these technical fields?

1990s

To help provide that content, Learning Labs created the Applied Technologies division. The writers and developers who were hired began developing self-guided introductory units of curriculum that offered not only content, but hands-on, real-world applications using the hardware. Meticulous directions were written to guide students through programming and using the machines.

Our writers understood there could be few assumptions in the content—including basic computer knowledge (remember, this was the mid-1990s). We were very cognizant that the units we were developing were intended to give middle and high school students an idea of what kinds of things someone in a particular field might do on a day-to-day basis. And more importantly, we were giving kids the opportunity to try some of those things (like machining a part with a CNC mill or programming a robot to pick up an item and place it elsewhere). This way, students were getting more than a theoretical taste of what it’s like to be in a particular industry—they were actually doing it!

By the mid 1990s, we had developed a significant library of content, covering such topics as

  • aerospace

  • graphic communications

  • meteorology and weather

  • aviation

  • animation

  • electricity/electronics

  • precision measuring

  • video editing

  • engineering

  • mechanisms

  • robotics

  • pneumatics

  • CAD

  • aerodynamics

  • mechanisms

  • photo manipulation

States outside of the Southeast got wind of these units of instruction and wanted to buy them too. Therefore, we began establishing relationships with educational sales organizations across the country to sell their products.

But we were not only busy developing courseware, we were also manufacturing 6-foot long wind tunnels, structural testers capable of applying 300 pounds of pressure, CO2 racetracks, and more. Additionally, in 1996, we developed Media Cruiser, a multimedia content delivery software package, as well as Carousel Plus, a lab management system designed specifically for modular/rotational technology labs.

That same year, we introduced our first set of units outside of the traditional technology education realm—the AgriScience Series. This series included topics such as

  • aquaculture

  • hydroponics

  • plant science

  • natural resources

  • forestry

  • animal science

  • horticulture

  • crop science

  • landscape design

  • soil science

A few years later, we created an IT series with units covering networking, computer repair, web design, programming, and more.

In the late 1990s, Applied Technologies began working on a series of health science career pathways. Unlike the content developed previously, however, these courses were designed for students in the 11th and 12th grades—those students who had already chosen health care as their field of study. Therefore, this content was written to a higher level, assuming students had a basic understanding of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology.

We also created a year-long, online Health Science Foundations course which taught the Accountability Criteria for the National Healthcare Skill Standards established by the National Consortium for Health Science Education.  Both health science product lines were sold to another company in late 2013.

2000s

During the first decade of the new millennium, we were busy keeping all those titles updated. We also completed major overhauls of Media Cruiser and Carousel Plus. In the meantime, we continued to attend annual tradeshows like ITEEA, FFA, HOSA, ACTE, and more.

PRO Landscape logoPart of what we promoted at FFA was our exclusive partnership with Drafix, the maker of PRO Landscape, the standard in design software for landscape professionals.  Only Applied Technologies is authorized to sell the software to schools (secondary and post-secondary) at amazing academic pricing.

In 2008 we introduced our Energy Systems (Green Technology) course. The package offers over 65 hours of content and hands-on activities covering wind, solar, and other alternative energies, green transportation and construction units, and resource conservation.

2010 - Present

In 2010, we began porting much of our content into Intelitek’s LearnMate® curriculum delivery and LMS. This gave our writers the opportunity to not only review and update our materials, but to break free a bit from self-imposed restrictions on lengths of activities and lessons. Because content in the LearnMate® system is primarily designed to be delivered classroom-wide (as opposed to a pair of self-guided students working through the material) we could redesign lessons around subject areas rather than spans of time.

Part of the agreement with Intelitek included them distributing some of our materials, again allowing us to focus more on content development and less on sales and marketing.

Today we continue the great tradition of developing content-rich, hands-on courseware.