Kansas State University


College of Education

Mimeographs and Purple Stencils: Traveling Down Technology’s Memory Lane

We decided to go down memory lane with some of your COE professors and ask them what “technology” they had in their classroom for their first year.

Mrs. Kaylee Myers (Elementary Education)—“An overhead and a cassette/taperecorder!”

Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“I had an overhead projector and created transparencies on clear acetate to show on the screen. We had a ditto machine in the workroom that had a drum containing some sort of fluid. I created ditto masters that would be clamped onto the drum which spun around and around, copying the text in purple onto the pages. There was a Xerox machine at the school board office, but we weren’t allowed to use it.”

Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies)—“A lovely green screen Apple IIe.”

Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“The school invested in a photocopy machine so teachers didn’t have to type everything they wanted to reproduce on purple stencils. If you’re curious, find the oldest teacher in your building and ask that person what a purple stencil was.”

Dr. Sally Yahnke (Family and Consumer Sciences)—“Mimeograph machine, overhead projector, opaque projector, movie projector, filmstrip projector.”

Mrs. Cyndi Kuhn (Technology)—“I had absolutely nothing my first year, way back in 1975 when I began teaching, we had typewriters and mimeograph machines. It was paper, paper paper, and you really had to plan ahead.”