But for the life of me, I'm not sure I could make this one work. (Or explain its value to my students, colleagues, or chair.)
I won't link to the blog itself (because I think the RGM has had enough...and I'm sure you'll guess anyway) but here's the essay assignment and its justification.
I actually want to understand this, and perhaps I'm a little too old fashioned to get it.
A Twitter-essay condenses an argument with evidentiary support into 140 characters unleashed upon a hashtag in the Twitter-verse. Tweets often attempt to convey as much information in as few words as possible. A tweet could be seen, then, not as a paragon of the many potential horrors of student writing, but as a model of writerly concision. In composing their Twitter-essay, students proceed through all the steps they would take in writing a traditional academic essay, including brainstorming, composing, workshopping, and revising. I also have them consider and research their audience, the Twitter members engaged in discussion around a particular hashtag. Finally, I have them work dynamically with the Tweets of their peers, responding to them on Twitter and close-analyzing them in class. I ask the students to consider their word-choice, use of abbreviation, punctuation, etc. To model the activity and to give them a sense for the shape of a Twitter-essay, I compose my instructions for the assignment in exactly 140 characters and post them to Twitter.