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U.K. Schools Remove Analog Clocks Because Kids Can’t Read Them

Is telling time, much like writing cursive, going extinct?


With all the technology we have right now, it’s amazing how most kids can quickly learn and comfortably use different gadgets and apps. Unfortunately, young ones have become so accustomed to using digital devices that they are having trouble correctly reading time on analog clocks.

With that said, schools in the U.K. are removing analog clocks from exam rooms after students complained about not being able to read the time. Is telling time, much like writing cursive, really going extinct? Hopefully not.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said:

“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations. They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they’ve got is digital, so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.”

According to a poll, kids are spending, on average, six hours a day (or more) on screens. And something you won’t find on a screen interface is an analog clock face.

Trobe said that teachers want their students to feel at ease during exams, and replacing an analog clock with a digital one would be more beneficial for the young pupils.

“There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time.”

So far, the clock-replacing initiative is only being considered in U.K. schools. In the U.S., kids who attend public schools that follow the Common Core curriculum are still taught how to tell time. The specific curriculum standard states that in first grade, students must be able to “tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.”


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