Like many things falling to the age of technology, such as cursive handwriting, home economics and how to count back how much change a person should get back after making a purchase, analog watches and clocks have faced the battle as well. Some schools have already stopped teaching analog time or making it a requirement. Many people, not just the younger generations have come to rely on their smartphone for the time, in most cases displayed digitally as opposed to with a virtual analog clock (although some smartphones have this feature). So, is learning to tell analog time still important today?
One would think most teens have learned how to read an analog clock (either from school or out of necessity at some point) but there is a trend today, that many cannot, and will rely on their phone. I once walked into one of my old workplaces and there was a digital alarm clock displayed under the analog clock and when I asked the owner why I was told that “The teen employees can’t read the clock”. I was completely shocked as most of the “teen employees” were 16 or older, able to drive a car, but not able to read an analog clock, and this was in 2013… It was also mentioned at that time that kids frequently ask what time it is, even though they are staring at the clock, when told the clock is right there, they respond “I can’t read it” yet, they need to know what time it is for when their parents are coming to pick them up.
Most businesses, schools and public places still use analog clocks on the wall to display the time. There aren’t many digital “wall” clocks on the market that are easy to read from a distance unless the displays are fairly large and well lit.
Many employers won’t allow workers (especially teens) to keep their phones on them while working as they are a distraction. Of course, they will still have to know when it is time to clock in, take a break or head out for the day – or if their job requires it for timing such as with food preparation. If they don’t have a digital watch, cash register or computer in front of them, they probably have to rely on an analog wall clock for this… or at least know how to set a timer.
Although we understand that schools may not be making it a requirement, digital clocks and watches have not completely replaced the analog timepiece, and probably won’t any time soon. Analog timepieces are still the most popular worn timepieces as well as home decor – if they weren’t, companies like Bulova, Seiko and Citizen would be making digital watches exclusively. Even Casio, most well known for their digital pieces have recently been producing more analog/digital timepieces whether it be for functionality or design, they have become quite popular.
Time Teacher watches have tried to pick up where schools left off by producing a watch with labeled hour and minute hands for youngsters. These watches are available in fun character designs as well as with military emblems and are a great way to give younger children a helping hand when it comes to learning to tell time with a traditional analog watch.
Can your teen tell time using an analog clock? Do you think that it is still a valuable skill today? Comment below!