5 ways to incorporate technology and color guard

Cell phones, tablets, YouTube, and everything else! Technology can be a serious distraction for color guard students and a serious hindrance to their improvement as performers.

However, it could be exactly the opposite of that.

We have a Facebook group for our winter guard. Being an independent winter guard, I started this several years ago in order to keep up with students from various schools. It was a great way to communicate and make sure that everyone was doing their part outside of practice to get better FOR practice. Throughout the last several years, I have incorporated a lot of things into this Facebook group using the kids' own technology that I hope you can find useful for your own groups!

1. Posting practice videos. This goes both ways! I make assignments each week in rehearsal and then I make a short post about them in the group to remind everyone. The assignments consist of the students filming themselves practicing at home and posting them to the page. The page is private so the students are only sharing their practice videos with everyone else in the group. I also film the students during practice, especially doing run-throughs of the show, and post those to the page so that students can see themselves performing and know exactly what needs to be better/look better every week.

2. Scheduling. It's fantastic to be able to post events with rehearsal schedules on the Facebook group! Students will receive a reminder on their account when the event is upcoming, plus I can add things like a list of what to bring to rehearsal.

3. Blogging. This might seem like it will take a lot of time and effort for a small thing, but having students write blogs about rehearsal - even if it's just once a week - can be a helpful recruitment and educational tool for the future.

4. Keeping in touch/answering questions. I absolutely love when students post questions on the Facebook group! This lets me know they are thinking ahead, practicing at home, and staying generally organized. Keeping your group relevant in their day-to-day lives can be difficult if you have a weekends-only team like we do.

5. Inspiration. From time to time, I like to post videos of other incredible groups for my students to watch. I also post related articles, videos, and other things that will keep everyone inspired and excited about performing - especially when we have a lot of rehearsal weekends in a row at the start of the season!

Now, of course this will only work if you have a crew of Facebook addicts like I generally have at Spintronix. But it's just one example of taking something that could be a huge problematic distraction and turning it into something useful that will help you improve your program!

<3 Jackie

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