Expert Says Telling Time Provides Life Skills


By Maria Staubs

If asked to check the time, one might check their phone or a digital clock – but, what about the old-school analog clock? As the world continues to move further into a digital era, some might ask: Is reading an analog clock even a necessary skill anymore?

Lowell Elementary School Principal Dana Ramos thinks it is. She said reading an analog clock is still a part of the state curriculum for second or third graders, so students should be proficient.

“I think it’s still a skill that students have to have because they still may run into an analog clock somewhere, and it’s important for them to be able to have that skill even if they don’t utilize it every single day,” Ramos said.

She acknowledged simply teaching it isn’t enough without consistent application. Without “the real-world practice of using them,” the skill may be fading.

“Adults have cell phones, and there’s a digital clock on their cell phone. Many classrooms have digital clocks instead of analog clocks,” Ramos said. “Not all, we do have some analog clocks here at Lowell.”

But, despite the lost practice, a shift to digital clocks makes sense for those like Bothwell Piason, an Arizona State University grad student, who said he never reads analog clocks anymore.




“I mean it’s unnecessary to use those things anymore,” Piason said when stopped by a reporter and asked if he could read the time on her analog watch on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

As it turns out, the skill may not be so unnecessary, according to Leslie Josel, the founder of Order Out of Chaos, a coaching firm specializing in time management.

“The only way that you can ever learn to manage time is you have to be able to see it,” Josel said.

Josel created an award-winning academic paper planner with a design that helps students manage their workload and plan their homework time, according to her website.

“People think time is invisible. I don’t think time is invisible,” Josel said. “Time is very three-dimensional. Time has a beginning, middle and end. Time has a past. Time has a future.”

For students who might have trouble getting started on a task, she said seeing an analog clock allows them to visualize when they will be done, which helps them pace themselves.

“It allows you to see done, and most of us, when we can’t see done, we can’t begin,” Josel said.

Josel recommends keeping an analog clock in every room because she said seeing it is one of the most effective ways to manage time.

RipLey-Simone Kennebrew and Naomi DuBovis contributed to this story.

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