Top 5 digital transformation trends of 2021 The year 2020 will go down as the period when organizations responded to new risks, pivoted to new business models and accelerated their digital transformation programs in an effort to weather a lethal pandemic.In the 2020 COVID-19 epoch, going digital was no longer a business luxury but a matter of survival. Digital transformation was crucial to enabling remote working, transitioning to collaboration workflows, and to realigning operations from supply chain management through customer experiences.CIO and IT leaders no longer have to sell the business on how critical technology is to all aspects of operations. In 2020, the question was how fast could IT pThis trend will extend into 2021, but with a difference: IT leaders will shift from a reactive posture to proactive, strategic digital transformation initiatives. Partnering with their business colleagues, IT leaders will build and refine digital business models, foster a culture that prioritizes experimentation, and use technology and data to establish competitive advantages.Here are five digital transformation trends in 2021 that will shape how CIOs and IT leaders formulate the strategies, priorities and roadmaps that will help their companies succeed. Agile goes deeper into the enterprise to reshape business models, cultureIT leaders have adopted agile practices to develop applications, improve machine learning models, automate CI/CD pipelines, and deliver other strategic programs that require teamwork with business stakeholders. The role of the product owner became essential to managing business/IT collaborations. Meanwhile, IT organizations reinvented how they worked as they adopted DevOps culture and practices.But the move to agile practices and DevOps was just a step in an enterprise journey to establish agile business models and cultures. In 2020, more CIOs saw the doors open to partner with business leaders on the agility required to transform business operations. In 2021, expect to see CIOs lead agile deeper into their organizations:Multidisciplinary agile teams will include business teammates from marketing, operations, finance, HR, and sales, sprinting and releasing business capabilities.Change management programs will move earlier and become transformation programs by engaging customers, early adopters and stakeholders in the development process.More organizations will invest in agile portfolio management tools, adopt experimentation cultures, and expand agile to their data science teams.
Key Takeaways: Utilizing science and engineering together keeps students engaged throughout the learning process.Requiring students to collaborate and use critical thinking helps them comprehend and retain science concepts.Using high-quality text from Scholastic’s SuperScience magazine engages students in scientific practices with real-life application and reasoning skills.Heading OneIt’s springtime and students are excited to get outdoors and release energy! I take full advantage of sunny days to teach my third- and fourth-grade gifted students different science concepts. Recently, I used the SuperScience article “Go Fly a Kite!” to teach them about flight, aerodynamics and design engineering.This article is from an archived issue of SuperScience, which, as a subscriber, I get online access to. That means it’s incredibly easy to have years of issues and activities at my fingertips. I go back to this activity every year because students love it so much. The story is about how kite builders use science concepts to fly their beautiful kites. Many designers compete in the American Kitefliers Association Grand Nationals, where the kites are judged on flight, beauty and structure. My students were amazed that the large kites, some more than 100 feet across, could fly!Aerodynamic concepts like lift, acceleration and gravity were introduced and defined throughout the article so that students could follow easily. My students thought the diagram on how to fly a kite was a great resource to use as a guide to flying ones of their own.Heading TwoBefore students read the story, I had them watch the accompanying video, “Blossom Kite Festival,” independently on Chromebooks. The video helped grab their attention and start a class discussion on kites. Next, students read and discussed the article in small groups.After reading the article, my students built a prototype kite following the engineering challenge called “Taking Flight.” Students built the prototypes following directions independently and tested their kites outside. Most kites were able to fly, but then I asked my students to follow the design and engineering process to improve their kites. For example, they could add different-size streamers where they thought they’d give their kites more lift.Then the students tested their new designs! They discovered that they were able to get the kites to fly longer if they flew them in the right direction. Lastly, students discussed other ways to improve their designs, like changing the shape and size, adding lighter materials, increasing the length of the string and others.This lesson was fun and energizing for my third and fourth graders.Teacher Tips for This LessonHeading ThreeAlthough I could complete this lesson in a three-hour period, I would recommend spreading it over three to five days. Let students make their own kites so they can discover what changes they need to make in their designs.Be prepared to give background information on flight and aerodynamics. My students had been studying flight history and aerodynamics for a few months.If you’re looking for more ways to connect science concepts to your students’ lives, I highly recommend SuperScience. You can even try it free for 30 days when you place an order for the 2019–2020 school year. I’m sure your students will love all the fascinating articles and team-building activities as much as mine do!—Michelle Gay has been an educator for more than 20 years. A lifelong lover of science, she serves as the Gifted Specialist at Foley Elementary School in Foley, Alabama.