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Some Schools Removing Analog Clocks Because Kids Can't Read Them

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Step into an elementary school classroom and you know it's time to learn.

"Manners, numbers," said Pat Dean of Media.

"Add, subtract," added Molly Greco.

"How to read," said Sue Kroungold.

"Little bit of social studies," added Darryl Blake of Chester.

And in time, how to tell time.

From working 'round the clock to figuring out the big and little hands, to drawing up your own timetable, it's a skill that's mastered early on. But, did you know it's often forgotten?

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"It doesn't surprise me at all," said Blake.

Call it a sign of the times. Some British secondary schools removed analog clocks from exam rooms, relying on digital displays to help students race against time.

Stephanie Keenan, head of English at Ruislip High School in north-west London, tells the Telegraph that her school has installed digital clocks after agreeing that many year nine, ten and eleven students cannot tell the time with an analog clock.

"As progress comes, skills are lost," said Kroungold.

"I think it's utterly ridiculous," added Bonnie Lundy.

"I know we try to limit their frustration levels but as some point, when is it too much?" said Erin Steffan, an early childhood educator at Reformation Nursery School in Media. She says the disconnect extends into speech.

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"When I speak to my child and say, 'at quarter to four' you have to be ready... What does that mean? I have to speak to them in digital terms."

So, as time marches on...

"They will use digital clocks because that's what iPhone says or their Apple Watch," said Amara Sher of Media.

"That's unfortunate. But at same time, it just seems that's the direction time is going," said Greco.

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