The WHY in y=mx+b And My New Best Friend

y mx b hat

The Lesson Outcome: “Why is y=mx + b my new best friend?” is one of my new favourites!


It’s playful.  It makes me curious – what do you mean, I have a new ‘best friend?’  It brings me to evaluation – “best” friend, really?  It connects me and how I feel to the learning.  The question provokes me and sets the tone that we are heading off on a journey.  Best of all it’s ‘un-google-able!’

We have to fundamentally change our stance from that of being ‘content delivery’ mechanisms.  The internet and social media has got us beat!  Remember “Terminator” the movie?  In this area, the machines have taken over!  We are never going to win it back.  That battle is over.  The ‘war,’ however, to find relevance as educators in the 21st century is still ours to win.

“Why is y=mx+b My New Best Friend?” is the antithesis of the traditional lesson: 1.  Copy this down  2.  Commit to it as the absolute truth and don’t question why!! 3. (gun to the head) Now complete these repetitive questions to ‘practice’ this newly acquired behaviour(NOT ‘understanding’) over and over 4.  Come back tomorrow and try to remember what the point of this was.

The reality is that some student, regardless, will hunt down a better delivery from YouTube or off the Khan Academy.  This “Best Friend” lesson creates conditions within which students can judge the merits of this new ‘friend’ and ‘play’ with its value and usefulness.

Tom Whitby makes clear our fundamental need to change our stance if we are to remain relevant.  “We need to stop viewing technology as a distraction from education and see it as an attraction to it.” ( To read more, click the picture below)

Content Delivery


About gsstrojantalk

I grow people for a living and stretch myself for fun! I pursue a constant state of relentless restlessness and 'grow people' by creating conditions within which others around me choose to stretch. I want to explore the Why, How and What that I do, or believe that I do. These are musings and provocations. Oh, and I'm the proud Principal of Gananoque Secondary School, in beautiful Gananoque, Ontario.
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