In the age of smartphones and tablets, digital clocks are pushing old-fashioned analog clocks towards cultural irrelevance. The world’s been moving in that direction for a while but recently the attacks on analog have escalated. In fact, some schools in England have begun removing analog clocks altogether, citing evidence that kids simply don’t know how to read them. This new educational trend shocked late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who decided to ask kids if they could correctly guess the time shown to them on an analog clock.
Over a dozen kids of various ages were presented with an actual clock that had hands and were asked to identify the time. The experiment quickly revealed that those English schools may be on to something: Kimmel’s task proved to be an insurmountable challenge for almost all of the kids. Several respondents were on the right track but made the critical error of assuming the large hand indicates the hour of the day.
Others simply could not wrap their tiny heads around the idea that this giant circle with numbers could possibly be a way to understand the time. Things really got complicated when Roman Numerals came into the picture, as almost every kid looked like they were being asked to translate hieroglyphics.
Admittedly, some studies show that kids don’t actually understand the concept of time fully until age eight. But still, of all of the children who participated, only one young boy was able to correctly identify the time. And that’s pretty crazy. Although he was rewarded by getting to wear the clock as a Flavor Flav-esque necklace, which is not a bad price for knowing it’s 1:45 in the afternoon.
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