Using Technology to ‘Hack’ College Life: an Interview With a Student Blogger

Kelly Sutton, a junior in computer science and film production at Loyola Marymount University, co-founded a technology blog by and for college students. About 1,000 people a day visit the blog, called Hack College, which he runs with a few friends at the college.

Q. What is your favorite piece of advice on the blog?

A. We’re in the process of writing a feature called “students should blog.” We personally believe that blogs are kind of replacing résumés as far as indicators of talent and past experiences. We’ve had a lot of job offers come directly from the blog itself. We definitely think more students should consider blogging.

Q. But haven’t students gotten in trouble for blogging things that come back to haunt them?

A. Obviously do it responsibly, and realize that if you make a sex blog or something, that’s going to be tied to your name as long as you live, with the way stuff tends to be archived on the Internet. But if you want to be a sex psychologist, that could be the best thing for you.

Q. What is the most popular piece of advice you’ve posted?

A. The most popular post by far is “10 Ways to Recover a Lost Word Document.” Most papers are done using Microsoft Word.

Q. What is the most important way technology has changed student life in recent years?

A. It’s no longer weird to spend a lot of time on the Internet. Students will jokingly admit to spending hours on Facebook. The habits that they’re forming right now will eventually lead to different collaborations that weren’t possible in the past.

Q. What’s the biggest downside of all this student technology?

A. It’s adding a lot of overhead to a student’s life — the time it takes to check all the social networks and online platforms.

Q. Is technology making teaching better?

A. Oftentimes professors trying to use technology or plug into the generation using technology fail miserably. It’s like, “Let’s make a podcast.” Well, what problem is that podcast solving?

Q. What are your crystal-ball predictions for campus technology?

A. I think a lot of the social networks will putter out and die. Facebook will be here to stay, and there are a lot of them that I would like to see stick around, but realistically they’re not going to.

Q. How did you personally get interested in technology?

A. I learned how to operate a computer before I learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. Both of my parents studied electrical engineering, so it’s just kind of been a part of my life ever since I was born. —Jeffrey R. Young

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