In the ere of Fortnite, most of the things we do in our daily lives are on a screen. Whether it’s checking Facebook, watching some Netflix, or even getting homework done. And that has a quite drastic change in the U.K, where teachers have started to install digital clocks instead of analog ones in the exam rooms because their children are having a hard time reading analog clocks and knowing how much time they have left during hard stressful exams.
The deputy general secretary at (ASCL), the Association of School and College leaders Malcolm Trobe, told the Telegraph that students below the age of 18 are becoming more and more accustomed at using digital devices, and as such, a digital clock.
“The older generation used to do a great job at reading traditional clocks compared to today’s generation,” he added.
Today’s generation is not as good at reading traditional clocks as the older generation used to.”
“Mainly because youngsters nowadays are used to seeing a digital representation of the time their phones, tablets, and computers…. Nearly, every time they’re being exposed to time, it is probably digital.”
Trobe who was a former principal said that teachers don’t want their students to be stressed in the exam setting. And a traditional clock adds unnecessary stress to the kids. Schools are trying to make the exam setting to be as “easy and straightforward as possible.”
Trobe explained that “You don’t want students to stop every second in the exam to ask you how much time is left.”
“Schools will without a doubt do their best to make children as relaxed as possible. And there’s actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms instead of traditional ones, because it is much easier and more accurate to know what time is it when you are working against time, plus, you will never mistake time on a digital clock.”
Head of English at Ruislip High School in north-west London Stephanie Keenan, explained to the Telegraph, that her school was one of many schools in London to switch to digital clocks. Cheryl Quine, the head of the department at Cockermouth School and chair of the West Cumbria Network said that her school followed the same footsteps same “when some [students] couldn’t read the exam room clock.”
Trobe said that Although reading clock faces is taught in schools, but the majority of students tend to not fully understand them by the time they reach high school.
“It may look a little sad when youngsters coming through won’t be able to tell the time on clock faces,” he said.
“One hopes that we will need to be teaching youngsters to read clock faces, however, we can really see the benefit of having digital clocks in the exam rooms.”
Salle Payne, in 2018, the head pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust, warned that children are finding it harder to hold pens and pencils because of the evolution of technology.
“To be able to grip a pen and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers which can be easier by practicing. Children need a lot of practice time to develop those skills,” she warned.
“It’s easier to give a child an iPhone or an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, playing with lego, sticking and cutting, or pulling ropes and toys. As a result of this, they’re not developing the important underlying skills they need to grip and hold a pencil.”