Proto-copiers

The Diary does not usually plug educational technology but word reaches us of a truly startling advance. One teacher reported to the TES website the high excitement of a trainee who discovered a "wonderful" copying machine at the back of the staffroom. "It is cheaper than a PC, a projector and a photocopier," the trainee enthused but, incredibly, could also do colour copies! The name of the mechanism? Banda!

For the benefit of younger teachers, a Banda is one of those hand-powered copiers of yesteryear that used to get staff high on volatile chemicals as they cranked out worksheets. A bit of research, reveals they are still very much with us courtesy of Unigraph Plc of Sheffield (pound;400 - pound;800 a pop from www.unigraph.uk.com).

Managing director Stephen Hunter tells us demand is particularly high in developing countries where electricity is hard to come by but claims dozens of schools in Britain are still using the machines. A free five-litre bottle of ethanol duplicating fluid for the first to show us their inky fingers!

diary@tes.co.uk

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