Comp and Web Literacy

Jon Udell, developer and writer on technology, has interesting things to say about writing and web literacy. Back in 2005, he wrote "The New Freshman Comp", in which he argued that writing and coding were "closely related" and that screencasts should become part of freshman composition:

We're just scratching the surface of this medium. Its educational power is immediately obvious, and over time its persuasive power will come into focus too. The New York Times recently asked: "Is cinema studies the new MBA?" I'll go further and suggest that these methods ought to be part of the new freshman comp. Writing and editing will remain the foundation skills they always were, but we'll increasingly combine them with speech and video. The tools and techniques are new to many of us. But the underlying principles--consistency of tone, clarity of structure, economy of expression, iterative refinement--will be familiar to programmers and writers alike.

In a second article, an interview with Audrey Watters, Udell talks about Web literacy, that for most, what is important is to learn the components of the Web, the protocols, rather than to learn HTML or programming:

The problem of Web (il)literacy: How do we solve it? Is it about code? (Udell says no) It is about understanding the components of the Web and knowing how to tag and then manipulate them. By thinking and developing sets of named resources, you are a Web thinker. This isnt about programming but rather the creation of sets of resources and the identification of components that work with those resources and combining them to create a solution. How as you operate online can you do things intentionally and consciously create possibilities for other people to hack and remix?

Udell's post, Seven ways to think like the web, goes into more detail of the nature of Web literacy.