Monday, October 28, 2013

Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two...

It's an old adage. I'm sure everyone has heard it before. Everything has 3 options; fast, cheap, good. You get to pick any two...

... Fast and good isn't cheap
... Fast and cheap isn't good
... Good and cheap isn't fast

Generally it speaks to products. A computer might be cheap & good, but it won't be fast. A fast computer that is good, won't be cheap. A fast computer that is cheap won't be good.

The same applies in teaching. Especially when working in a project-based setting. No good project was done fast. And any fast project probably wasn't good.

Teaching students to create something, anything, takes time. Especially if it is a new genre, subject, platform or software. If you want students to have a specific item to present to showcase their abilities, you want them to know the nuts & bolts, how to create it from scratch, so they can truly own that work & speak deeply about what they are putting forward.

For a student to have a solid final project, you need time. It takes time to be good. It can't be rushed. If it's rushed, it won't be good (or even worse, it might amount to a glorified worksheet and won't be authentic either).

If you want a project done fast & good, cancel the rest of the day's program and spend the day on the single project. A good product, start to finish, doesn't get produced in 45 minutes. A fast, cheap, project is one that gets done to check a box or satisfy a demand. The final product of a good project is a product the students are invested in, have a connection to, and can speak deeply about.

Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two, pick the right two...

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