Sunday, 16 July 2017

Old School Teaching - The Banda Machine

If you are a new teacher you probably don't give a second thought to using the photocopier. If you were a teacher in the 1970s there were no photocopiers in schools. If you wanted to make copies of documents for students to use, then you needed a Banda Machine like the one in the photo above. This did not copy existing documents. It only copied documents that you had produced yourself.

You could not make mistakes on your master document. There was no way to erase errors, so imagine creating a complex work sheet and then adding a spelling mistake at the end. Arrggggh!

You fed the master into the machine which was filled with a stinky fluid. Then you turned the handle and copies came out, equally smelly, and damp. There was a limit on how many copies you could get. After about 30 copies they started to fade. You might get another class set out of the master but then your only option was to create another master by hand, all over again.

One of the worst things that could happen to you when feeding your master into the machine and turning the handle, was the master crunching up. If you were lucky you could un-crunch it, and have copies covered in crease marks and the writing distorted. If you were unlucky it was back to creating a new master. Not ideal when you needed copies for your class in 10 minutes!

New teachers - you don't know how lucky you are!

What are your experiences of using the Banda? Did you have any disasters? What was the most complex worksheet you managed to duplicate? What tips would you give to anyone wanting to use a Banda Machine today?

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