Schools in the United Kingdom are removing analog clocks from their classrooms because teenagers can’t tell the time, according to the head teacher’s union.
The Telegraph reports that teachers are installing digital clocks after students complained they were struggling to read the time on an analog device.
“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” said Malcolm Trobe, the Deputy General Secretary for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
“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 told the paper that teachers want their students to feel as relaxed as possible during exams, and “having a traditional clock in the room could be a cause of unneccessary stress.”
“You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,” he said.
Other teachers shared the same concerns.
Stephanie Keenan, who teaches English at Ruislip High School in London, said her school had installed digital clocks after ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students could not tell time on an analog clock.
“One hopes that we will be teaching youngsters to read clocks, however we can see the benefit of digital clocks in exam rooms,” Trobe said.
The Telegraph also reported that pediatric doctors are warning that children are having trouble writing with pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology.
“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills,” said Sally Payne, Head Pediatric Occupational Therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust.