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There are things that will never cease to amaze me, such as the latest piece of news I have read these days from the UK: 'Schools are removing analog clocks from exam rooms as teenagers cannot tell time'. I did not give it much importance, until one day I was at the hairdresser, I asked a 19-year-old girl the time and, instead of looking at the wall clock, she consulted her mobile. I was not able to read the hands of the clock! What's going on? Why children cannot read the time on analog clocks? I started researching and this is what I have discovered.
It all stems from a complaint from British high school students. Apparently, the kids had difficulty finishing the tests because they could not calculate the time they had left to finish the exams, and that is because in all the classrooms there were analog clocks, that is, the ones with hands. Young people have become accustomed to digital devices and here we have one of its consequences.
'The current generation is not as good at reading the traditional watch face as previous generations,' said Malcolm Trobe, deputy secretary general of the Association of School and University Leaders (ASCL), adding: 'They are used to seeing a digital representation of the time on their phone, tablet or computer, almost everything they have is digital. '
Having a traditional watch in schools could be a cause of unnecessary stress, which is why many UK teachers have chosen to change them. Schools are trying to make things quieter for students during their exams. 'We don't want them to be raising their hands all the time to ask the time,' commented a teacher. And, although there are old school people like me that this decision seems like a mea bit strange and above all sad, in reality there is aA great advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms, because you are much less likely to mistake a time when working against the clock.
This situation is not only happening in Great Britain. A 2017 survey in Oklahoma City found that only 1 in 10 children in the city between the ages of 6-12 owned a watch. Of that number, only 1 in 5 could read analog clocks. And, from what I have been able to experience, in Spain we are on the way to that.
Children learn the hours at school when they reach second grade, but the fact that they use mobile devices for everything makes them over time forgotten. This is undoubtedly the first of many consequences of new technologies in the lives of children.
Another very important is that more and more children have trouble holding pencil or pens, as they are getting used to typing on the mobile phone with their finger and not developing muscles. That is why, as the psychologist at the nursery school told me before my daughter went to school: 'It is important that the children see you read, but even more so that they see you write.' Since then, we have brought back 'old traditions' like making the shopping list by hand on a blank sheet of paper.
In relation to holding a pencil, it is the number of misspellings that children do today. They want to do everything quickly and this causes them to use many emoticons and to abbreviate words a lot, which results in them doubting whether a word is written with b or with v or with j or with g.
That not to mentionother types of consequences better known to all: obesity (children are glued to the screen all the time and do not exercise), isolation (they stay at home with their mobile or console and do not go out to play, with how much fun it is!), aggressiveness ( many video games are about fighting and killing, which makes them more competitive and that they get angry more easily), lack of communication and social skills (they are only related by network, so when they stop someone, they stay quiet because they don't know what to say).
Coincidentally, this news came into my life a month before my 8-year-old daughter's birthday. He asked me for a watch and of course I bought it for him, but guess what? It is not digital, it is analog. Perhaps it is counterproductive, because over the years they may end up disappearing, but until this moment arrives, I only want that when her grandparents ask her the time, she knows how to answer regardless of whether she has an analog or digital watch on her wrist.
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