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Telly trolleys and OHPs: 5 pieces of outdated teacher tech

Grainne Hallahan takes a nostalgic trip back in time to remember some of the heroes of edtech past

The telly trolly, the Banda machine and three other heroes of ed tech past

Grainne Hallahan takes a nostalgic trip back in time to remember some of the heroes of edtech past

It seems that laminators in schools could soon be a thing of the past. But this beloved piece of technology would not be the first item of edtech to be consigned to the dustbin. Do you remember these wonders from ages past?

1. The telly trolley

Oh, the dear telly trolley. Remember when its appearance brought joy to the faces of students who only had access to children’s TV via VHS and CBBC's Broom Cupboard for a few hours a day?

Now the whiteboard serves as a television, and most students have more sophisticated equipment in their blazer pockets.

2. The overhead projector

An overhead projector was a mammoth piece of kit, which had so many uses. It would project the lyrics for songs in assembly, as well as serving as a display for live modelling. Not only that, but you could also "slow reveal" notes with a really high-tech process of taking a piece of paper and sliding it down the page as the lesson progressed.

Today, the much more portable and less cumbersome visualiser has made the overhead projector, sadly, redundant.

3. The Banda machine

With its distinct scent and purple ink, the Banda machine was the photocopier machine of the 1960s. Using it was time-consuming, and involved waxy top sheets and foolscap paper. The best thing about the Banda machine was the legal high you could potentially get off the smell of the fluid.

Now, with the photocopier reigning supreme – superior in every way, and a lot less flammable – there is, thankfully, no need for a Banda machine any more.

4. Chalkboard

The piece of chalk was once synonymous with the whole teaching profession, but today we associate it mainly with drawing hopscotch in the playground, if we can find any use for it at all. In the days of the blackboard, you could expect dusty chalk marks on your clothing, and to be gritting your teeth at the squeaking of chalk as you wrote.

But despite claims that the glare from projector light against a whiteboard can damage eyesight, this combo is what you will now find at the front of most classrooms, rather than a blackboard.

5. The roller board

The roller board was the blackboard 2.0. It allowed for a real thrill when you put your hand up to swing it down and realised you hadn’t checked if it was clean before the lesson started (time to say a quick prayer that nobody had used it for a Year 11 PSHE lesson and you were about to expose your Year 7s to some dodgy pictures of human anatomy).

The roller board can still be found in classrooms, sometimes tucked away at the back of a room that is waiting to be refurbished. It was ingenious for the times when you had notes you wanted to keep, but other classes to teach.

Grainne Hallahan has been teaching English in Essex for 10 years. She is part of the #TeamEnglish Twitter group

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