Newton’s New Law of Teaching: When Quality Instruction and Technology Intersect

Gary Waddell, EdSurge, Jan 08, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to this article, " we can borrow from Sir Isaac and posit that in terms of student outcomes, Achievement equals Quality Instruction times Innovation (A = QI x I)." The point the author is trying to make here is that "Both of these variables—good teachers and good technology—can transform a student’s learning experience. Each of them are also compromised by the absence of the other." Why is this important? They argue, "Providing just-in-time support while also assessing growth over time and providing appropriate supervision and evaluation are key to ensure that continual growth is underway."

Both this item and the next one is a result of a confusion and obfuscation between the language and logic of is and ought. I discuss this briefly here. But with that in mind, we ask, why does the author of this article take such pains to represent what is surely a statement of values and expectations about achievement in the form of a scientific formula? It's obviously to represent it as a fact. And why do this? Because that fact becomes the beginning point for an action plan (even though it is not a fact!). I hate stuff like this. It seems so transparent, and so deliberately misleading.

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