I learned of app challenges from Craig Badura's iPad Task Challenges. I tried them out with some of the teachers I work with, and they were a big success. I've created several more and posted them to the right. If you use them, I ask that you please send me a tweet @digichica or contact me by email. See Craig's post to learn more about his idea. I've used my app challenges a little bit differently than Mr. Badura in that I usually bring two challenges of the same "learning genre" and give teachers a choice. Yesterday we were digging into the genre of visual storytelling. I offered teachers the option to create with Haiku Deck or Storehouse. Everyone likes to have the option to choose their learning (something we need to constantly remember in our classrooms).
I've designed the tasks to give teachers a "how-to" with the app as well as an "app-lication" of the app in a sample classroom project or assignment. It can be very challenging to train or coach teachers that are in very, very different places with their technology comfort and experience. With the app challenge, they have a guide to the app, can create at their own pace and extend their learning with more classroom ideas. In just an hour every teacher has created a classroom sample with an app that interested them!
Thanks again for the inspiration, Mr. Badura.