Why the days of the analog clock are (and should be!) numbered


It looks like the analog clock’s days may be numbered. According to a recent article in the Telegraph, some U.K. schools are removing them from exam halls after discovering teenagers have a hard time reading traditional clock faces. Apparently the move is an attempt to reduce testing anxiety in a generation raised on digital devices.

“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” said Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders, in an interview with the newspaper. “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.”

The news was met with as much hand wringing as I’m sure met the phasing out of such necessary skills as reading a sun dial or spooling a type writer.

This is really interesting. It makes sense that children don’t “need” to be taught skills they aren’t likely to ever need but it’s hard to let go of the analog clock.