There was much hand-wringing a few days ago about the idea that primary schools should give up teaching kids about the nineteenth century and should teach them about blogs, twittering and wiki instead.
The thing that bothered me most about this was not the elevation of twittering skills about (say) poetry, but the idea that central government would be requiring twittering (or whatever) of all schools in England. More imposition of a one size fits all model onto long suffering, and very diverse, teachers and pupils.
I can't see anything wrong, in itself, in teaching kids about all kinds of different uses of languages and styles and genres. In fact, I vividly remember when I was about 12 being required to practice writing telegrams in an English lesson at school (and telegrams were almost the 1960s equivalent of twitter, weren't they?).
The task set, I still recall, was to write a telegram to someone who had won a scholarship to Cambridge and ask them to confirm that they would be taking it up (an exercise that was also presumably one of the drip, drip ways in which our academic aspirations were raised). My own effort (of which I'm even now quite proud) was: "WON SCHOLARSHIP CAMBRIDGE WIRE IF ACCEPTING" (I thought it was clear enough without "STOP" between "CAMBRIDGE" and "WIRE".
Not a bad exercise in concision. And nor would twittering be, I suspect.