British schools are considering replacing analog clocks with the digital variety because kids can’t read them during tests. While swapping this classic method of telling time seems a drastic measure, kids today are having difficulty with telling the time since they are used to seeing time displayed in digital formats. Is the ability to tell time the old fashioned way about to be phased out?
Some schools are already seeing an end to kids learning to write cursive, so perhaps learning to tell time could be another basic skill the education system will abandon.
Educators are currently looking for solutions for kids lacking the ability to read an analog clock — especially when it comes to using these clocks for standardized testing. Some schools in Britain may be doing away with analog clocks during testing so that students are clear about how much time they have left to complete an exam. Teachers say that this uncertainty can cause additional stress, which leads to lower test scores. To help the students, they believe that using digital clocks during tests will eliminate any confusion, which will reduce stress, and result in better scores.
Malcolm Trobe, the secretary of the U.K.’s Association of School and College Leaders, told The Telegraph: “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.”
Trobe added: “You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,” which could disrupt others in the room.
He continued: “Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as the can be. 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.”
While it’s true that digital displays of time are all around us on devices, computers, and in homes, there are still analog clocks (and watches) in existence, so it seems that teaching children to read time the “old-fashioned way” still makes sense.
In the case of test-taking, British educators aren’t looking to eliminate the need for kids to learn how to read analog clocks, rather just provide a digital clock for testing to make the situation less stressful.
Naturally, people had plenty to say on social media about the idea of eliminating analog clocks in schools, with many noting the issues with the education system. One person explained: “It’s amazing what they aren’t being taught anymore. They can’t tell time, they can’t read or write cursive, history is no longer taught. Math is a common core joke. We are actually graduating kids who have never had a civics class…our education system is a joke.”
Another commenter remarked: “Seriously?! I taught children for 20+years. It’s a basic skill like so many other things. Teach them for crying out loud.”