I think Suheng Yao has pointed out a crucial point: product rule. Indeed, if you observe LHS=(4+t^2)(dy/dt) + 2ty, you may find the pattern of u'v+uv' where u=y and v=4+t^2. By applying product rule here, we can make LHS become a single expression and thus make it a separable differential equation (which is already discussed in the lecture).

I think a general method of solving this kind of problem is introduced later in the textbook and it is quite useful in solving inseparable first order differential equation.