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British schools are replacing analog clocks because kids can't read them during tests

Some schools in the U.K. are reportedly ditching traditional analog clocks because students aren't able to tell time during tests.
by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY
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Schools in Britain are throwing their hands up over kids who can't tell time on traditional clocks.

Some U.K. schools are ditching analog clocks from test rooms because a generation of kids raised on digital clocks can't read them and are getting stressed about time running out during tests, London's Telegraph reports.

"The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations," Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the U.K.'s Association of School and College Leaders, told The Telegraph.

"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."

Officials believed the clocks are causing undue stress because kids can't figure out how much time they have remaining to complete a test.

"You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,'' Trobe said.

"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."

It's not just British kids, either. American kids also have their struggles figuring out what those ticking hands on a clock mean.

An Arizona elementary school teacher wrote a blog post in 2014 about whether students should still be taught how to read analog clocks, arguing that they help visual learners but also noting that they are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Jimmy Kimmel had some fun with the issue on his late-night show Tuesday.

A group of kids on the street were each asked to tell the time by looking at an analog clock and the results weren't pretty. (Kudos to the one kid who got it right).

Move over, VCRs, rotary phones and answering machines. It might be time to make room for analog clocks.

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