andrew drozd
HS teacher

2017-2018 Edition: Photoshop Curriculum with Video Tutorials for EACH lesson

Curriculum Published 10/10/11 Last updated on 3/2/20

UPDATE (8/18/18)

I'm currently modifying my curriculum to reflect some of the successes that we experienced this past year. I hope to post the new version before the end of August. I just wrapped up a short documentary that featured the culminating graphic design project for the semester: a marketing campaign for our school's sports teams. If you're considering doing something similar in your own class, check out this "behind the scenes" video that details best practices for this project.

UPDATE (8/23/2017)

HERE is the sequence for my Photoshop curriculum that I've been refining and adding to over the last few years. It is a Google Spreadsheet so as I make changes to what I teach and create new videos, I'll be sure to add them to this document. Because I've created hundreds of videos, they span various versions of Photoshop. The very first video, for example, features CS2 and videos later in the sequence use the 2017 CC version. My ambition is to revamp and catalogue these videos in to ~6 minute tutorials in which students can complete the learning target by the end of the 50 minute period. (It's a delicate balance between communicating learning objectives and detailing best practices for executing a technique with giving consideration to teenage attention spans and the parameters of an instructional period.) I create these videos using Techsmith's Camtasia, the best screen casting program in my opinion.

In the vast majority of projects, students start with a solid white image, typically 8.5 inches by 11 inches with a resolution of 250.

I'm always trying my best to facilitate collaboration between my students and I figured out a way does just this and enhances the overall quality of their work. Whenever we work on a project that contains a lot of assets, or images, for something like club fair poster like this, we'll stretch the work period over two or three classes. In the first class, students simply create PNG files by creating selections of their subject and pasting on to a transparent background. They save this selection as a PNG files and submit via Google Classroom. For subsequent classes, I share the folder of submitted PNGs back to the students (like this) so they can take advantage of their peers' PNG files. It reduces redundancy and motivates students to work hard because they know their classmates will be depending on the quality of their selection.

From my previous post:

This dynamic curriculum includes the first 120 lessons for a high school graphic design course. Lessons are original, sequenced, creative and fun. Video tutorials, typically 5 minutes in length, demonstrate a tool, technique, or concept. By the end of the semester, students will have developed the skills necessary to create authentic products of graphic design. Once the fundamentals are mastered, students apply their Photoshop skills in other academic classes: redesigning books covers in their English class, creating posters for their Earth Science class, creating trading cards of historical figures for their Global History class.

These projects are the result of years of teaching NYC high school students. This curriculum can be adopted in its entirety or used in bits and pieces according to the teachers specific need.

Please visit to see some of the outstanding work my students have produced. I am committed to providing my kids with an outstanding education so please feel free to include feedback or suggestions.

Each lesson is takes approximately 50 minutes to complete. Students recieve and submit all their work via email. The structure of my class is as follows:

Do Now (5 minutes)

Video Tutorial/ Question and Answer (10 minute)

Work Period (30 minutes)

Analysis of work product (5 minute)

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

Age Levels
Custom Standards

NY Common Core

production and distribution

  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

National Educational Technology Standards for Students

(content standards)

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness

b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resource

2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

a. design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity

b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become

active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress

ISTE Standards
Students: Creative Communicator, Students: Innovative Designer, Students: Computational Trainer, Students: Knowledge Constructor

Photoshop and creativity!

CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
5 / 5 • 85 Ratings

Resources (4)

or Join for free to access materials
File Size

Comments (79)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

andrew drozd

Posted on 3/15/20 5:21:59 PM Permalink

Tracey Jacobs

Posted on 11/20/19 8:37:51 PM Permalink

​Wow! This is amazing! Thank you for sharing it.

Christina Zientek

Posted on 11/18/19 2:30:00 PM Permalink

​Hey... I recognize a few of those projects!! ;)

This is an AMAZING resource. You are so awesome for sharing it!


Posted on 6/5/19 11:05:38 AM Permalink

thanks for sharing, it's impressive

Cortez William

Posted on 5/19/19 5:15:17 AM Permalink

Remarkable. It is a great resource towards students' learning and creativity.

Celeste Payne

Posted on 4/15/19 3:19:57 PM Permalink

I may be teaching high school graphic arts in the Fall and was looking for materials. This is amazing! You really did a great job.

Do you give a pretest & post test? My district requires that. Do you have any suggestions?

UNM Taos

Posted on 4/8/19 8:22:00 PM Permalink

​I can see that you put a lot of work into this, well done. I liked how you displayed the data in the Excel spreadsheet and using the words "I can" and showing demonstration.

Kadijah Kemp

Posted on 3/19/19 11:50:24 PM Permalink

Thank You!!!​

Ali Imam Reza

Posted on 2/20/19 8:19:38 PM Permalink

​great resources!

Judy Durkin

Posted on 1/12/19 7:11:53 PM Permalink

​WOW - this is a great help. I am working on a curriculum plan for next semester. Thanks

Mohamed Moolla

Posted on 12/30/18 7:04:43 PM Permalink

​Excellent thank u for sharing

Lisa Rose

Posted on 12/3/18 1:46:51 AM Permalink

​You are truly my hero right about now! I am in my second year of teaching (2nd career) and I teach 5 different classes. It's been a huge learning curve and a ton of work since I really didn't inherit much from the previous instructor. Thank you SO much for sharing. This is extremely helpful.

Deandrea Harris

Posted on 11/9/18 7:13:23 PM Permalink

This is fantastic. I've been teaching myself photoshop and looking for more comprehensive tools. This really helps!​

Randy Parazine

Posted on 11/5/18 7:53:41 PM Permalink

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing. :)​

Ashley Hanks

Posted on 10/22/18 6:50:14 PM Permalink

​Thank you for posting these resources! Sometimes just having that extra layer (pun intended) of challenging work is just what it takes for the students to really shine at showing they are capable of fantastic creativity!

Domeanica carter-banks

Posted on 10/12/18 8:45:51 PM Permalink

​This is soooo awesome! Thank you for sharing this. It's my first year teaching. I am not new to Adobe software, but it is challenging to actually picture teaching it to 30 students at a time.

andrew drozd

Posted on 10/13/18 8:35:27 PM Permalink

Glad you appreciate this! Teaching a large class can be a challenge --my current roster has 36 students -- but if the lesson is structured well, it's totally manageable. Before I started making video tutorials (back in 2009) I would attempt to teach by demonstrating the technique. This was problematic for a variety of reasons; with an interface as detailed and complex as photoshop, the kids in the back of the room couldn't see where I was clicking. Further, because I was so preoccupied with explaining a technique that required my attention on a screen, I couldn't tell which students needed to be refocused and redirected. These days to start class we have a brief discussion, I prime the kids for certain concepts, I press play, and then my eyes are on the students while the video does the work. It's like I'm co-teaching with myself. If needed, I'll pause and say, "Philip, this next part is super important and also pretty cool! Thank you for paying attention!"

Tamara Wilson

Posted on 10/13/18 10:15:47 PM Permalink

Such an amazing perception. Friday I discovered that the "teach by demonstrating" was not working with one of my classes and I was about to lose my mind. Love the "co-teaching with myself" thought. ​

Domeanica carter-banks

Posted on 11/27/18 9:28:47 PM Permalink

Thank you. I read your reply, but forgot to reply back .​I am just so nervous about not teaching the program well. I also know that video is going to have to be used in order for me to teach the program effectively. My projector is in a very odd place for some to see. So far my class room management is maintained and they are well behaved (10-12) with only 5 freshmen in all 6 of my classes. We have 90 minutes class (tues-fri) and the 45 minute class on Monday. I am trying to see how I can stretch this. Do you know of any resources for Illustrator?

Tamara Wilson

Posted on 10/8/18 7:18:18 PM Permalink

​OMG this is amazing...thank you for sharing!

andrew drozd

Posted on 10/13/18 8:35:36 PM Permalink


Ellen Cordeiro

Posted on 9/25/18 8:55:24 PM Permalink

I can't even begin to tell you how helpful this is. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm back in the classroom after 8 years and am teaching photoshop for the first time. Thank you, thank you! :)

andrew drozd

Posted on 10/13/18 8:35:57 PM Permalink

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help!

Judy Durkin

Posted on 9/24/18 5:39:22 PM Permalink

​Thank you for all of these valuable resources!

andrew drozd

Posted on 10/13/18 8:36:04 PM Permalink


Nina Silitch

Posted on 9/19/18 3:39:08 AM Permalink

Hi- I tried to open the sheet of lessons but did not have access. Thank you for sharing it as I am teaching PS this year and have not before.. ​

nakisha young

Posted on 8/17/18 3:50:59 PM Permalink

Thank you so much! I'm teaching Digital Graphics this year for the first time and was struggling to come up with creative assignments. Do you provide rubrics for the assignments?

andrew drozd

Posted on 8/17/18 7:25:33 PM Permalink

Hey Nakisha! I don't provide a traditional rubric in terms of identifying specific criteria that students need to ​include along with a range of quality benchmarks in some sort of table format. Instead, we'll use either a professionally designed poster or I'll draw upon an exemplar of student work from a previous semester and this will what students aspire to recreate or reimagine. I'll sometimes annotate the models (eg I'll highlight an aspect of the image and include the suggested opacity level or appropriate blending mode) so that kids are clear with expectations.

nakisha young

Posted on 8/17/18 3:32:10 PM Permalink

​Thank you so much! I'm teaching Digital Graphics this year for the first time and was struggling to come up with creative assignments. Do you provide rubrics for the assignments?

Peggy Angeloro

Posted on 8/7/18 10:58:02 PM Permalink

​This was such an unbelievable help to me as a middle school art teacher who has to do a media arts photoshop unit.


andrew drozd

Posted on 8/17/18 7:26:06 PM Permalink

I'm so happy to hear that! I'll be updating and improving the curriculum in the next few weeks. Hope you'll find the new lessons useful!

jeffrey plummer

Posted on 5/18/18 1:55:55 PM Permalink

​thanks for sharing.

Dea Bassetti

Posted on 11/28/17 3:25:00 AM Permalink

​I noticed you said that the first 5 minutes of your class is a Do Now. What do you usually do for Do Now's? I teach high school computer courses and this is the first year I am teaching Photoshop. Thanks so much

andrew drozd

Posted on 8/17/18 7:39:35 PM Permalink

Hi Dea,

My Do Now's have evolved over the years and depend on the roster and what we are learning in class. For example, one year my students analyzed a print ad and responded to this question: "What is your analysis of today's image? Please consider the meaning behind the image, the quality of design, and the emotion it evokes in the audience." You can see the entire semester of Do Nows, print ads, and the form we used here:

At my current school, I only have students for a 46 minute period and a single semester. To maximize productivity, I've eliminated these ad interpretations and instead have students "1. Open Photoshop 2. Log in to Google Classroom 3. Download the specified assets (eg PSD template, font, texture, etc). This ideally takes about 4-5 minutes.

Janice Schulman

Posted on 11/2/17 2:12:07 AM Permalink

​These are fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and assignments!

andrew drozd

Posted on 8/17/18 7:39:47 PM Permalink


Bruce Matthews

Posted on 9/14/17 5:12:57 PM Permalink

​Love all the materials you have so generously shared. I am wondering how you pace your class. How do you get through all the content on the curriculum sheet if this is a semester course?

andrew drozd

Posted on 8/17/18 7:42:41 PM Permalink

Hey! In a typical semester we probably use two thirds of the lessons in this curriculum sheet. I have a lot of latitude in terms of what and how I teach so much of what we cover is based on student interest or whenever inspiration for a new project strikes. I anticipate updating my curriculum to reflect some of the exciting new projects we explored this past year.

Shirron Jeffries

Posted on 9/6/17 2:37:29 PM Permalink

​How do I get your curriculum? I don't see it in your post.

Barbara Fine

Posted on 8/23/17 12:07:40 PM Permalink

​Andrew, I just want to tell you I have been following your class projects and using your website and lessons for inspiration in my Digital Media classes for years. I am from NY originally and am envious of the exposure your students have to the city. I am in Florida and it is not the same.

Thank you for sharing so much with all of us, and I look forward to seeing what's new in YOUR classroom!

Barbara Fine

andrew drozd

Posted on 8/22/17 11:04:56 PM Permalink

​I just shared a new document that includes projects that I taught this past year. I'll be continuing to add to this document as my curriculum evolves so feel free to check back if these lessons are meaningful to you. Thanks!

Christopher Hall

Posted on 8/13/16 6:11:02 AM Permalink

I'm trying to get the materials for the projects and am having no luck.

Barbara Fine

Posted on 8/10/16 5:01:31 PM Permalink


I have been following your website for a few years and appreciate your sharing these projects! As a former New Yorker, I LOVE all the city links too.

Thanks for all you do

Barbara Fine

Palm Bay Magnet High School

Melbourne FL

Stanis?aw ZARZECKI

Posted on 8/3/16 8:02:47 PM Permalink

Hello - I'm new

My Photoshop serves me to enhance photos my home collection, I would like to learn to how to expand your Photoshop adding a ACTION / OPERATIONS /, FILTERS, gradients, SHAPES, plugins, STYLE AND FONT. Alone I did when I was old Windows XP, but when I have Windows 10 I have a problem with it, please do me a hint how I thank

Willie Moore

Posted on 5/10/16 12:55:55 PM Permalink

Excellent Resource!

Brandy Milson

Posted on 9/29/15 3:05:15 PM Permalink

Susan Finn

Posted on 8/4/15 1:15:37 PM Permalink

Just what I am looking for. Thank you so much. I will update you on our success!

Lisa May

Posted on 8/18/14 2:30:37 AM Permalink

I stumbled across your lessons over on YouTube a while back and I have to say a huge THANK YOU! My middle school students love your lessons, and they're always impressed that they're doing something similar to high school students. I really appreciate all of the work you have shared. Thanks again. Lisa

Dena Wilson

Posted on 5/28/14 8:36:05 PM Permalink

Thanks for generously sharing your videos!

Kristen Chavez

Posted on 1/10/14 4:30:31 PM Permalink

I am so happy I found this! Thank you for sharing your curriculum. I am about to teach my students Photoshop and didn't know where to begin. Now I have some guidance thanks to you.

Lorraine Buchan

Posted on 10/27/13 7:43:29 AM Permalink

Thanks so much for sharing- this is just what I need!


Posted on 1/29/13 2:27:42 AM Permalink

Where are the 60 different lessons? Are they in PDF files or just YouTube videos?

Thank you

John Doherty

Posted on 8/31/12 6:55:11 PM Permalink

Eccellent. Thanks for all your effort and hard work.

Adobe Education

Posted on 8/20/12 1:44:09 PM Permalink

@Bojan - We're working on a feature that will enable sharing to other social networks. Stay tuned...

Bojan Živkovi?

Posted on 8/18/12 5:44:49 PM Permalink

This is excellent resource to share but it is not possible. When I try to share here is how description looks like: Thank you for your interest in the Adobe Education Exchange. In order to access the Adobe Education Exchange, you will be required to log in. Can you fix this and allow us to share articles from here on fb, linkedin, google+.

Vicky Putnam

Posted on 6/8/12 9:59:43 PM Permalink

Wow! Thanks so much!

I taught Digital Graphics for the first time last year (Computer Lit before that). I did not know Photoshop or Flash in August 2011, and school was starting in two weeks. Wow, how I WISH I had found your resources back then! I stumbled through the first year by watching hours and hours of Adobe TV.

I am very thankful for your curriculum. I am breathing a little easier now!

I will also be teaching 3D Modeling Animation next year ~ which by the way ~ I know NOTHING about! So I will be looking at your Google SketchUp lessons as well. I am writing curriculum for that course over the next two weeks. Help please...

I don't want my students to suffer because I'm new to all of this. That's just not right!

Thanks again,


Jim Armstrong

Posted on 1/27/12 7:23:25 PM Permalink

I was trying to upload File#2. It uploaded but when trying to extract it says that the files is either Invalid or Corrupt. Could you re-package, re-post it or send it to me ( I also suspect our school network. I will try from my home account where there are fewer constrictions and will report back. Thanks in advance.

Tracy Freeman

Posted on 1/11/12 2:34:10 AM Permalink

Ditto on unable to unzip download #2

Gary Townsend

Posted on 11/18/11 2:36:04 AM Permalink

Wow! i hit the motherlode! Thanks Mr. Drozd!

Cathy Mullahy

Posted on 11/15/11 6:55:06 PM Permalink

I am also unable to download #2 can you repost it.


Elizabeth Goodman

Posted on 11/11/11 4:05:06 PM Permalink

Trying to unzip Download #2 but get error message that it is not a valid RAR file.

Dena Wilson

Posted on 11/9/11 9:56:10 PM Permalink

I love the way you captured a technique or skill in a small capsule. My classes are three hours so I can easily build a longer lesson by showing more than one with discussion between each one. Thanks for sharing! Dena Wilson

Sadie Estrella

Posted on 11/8/11 9:30:18 PM Permalink

this seems really great!! I can't wait to start using it.....thank you for sharing *:)

Mark Schwandt

Posted on 11/8/11 6:00:25 PM Permalink

Thanks for providing this. I was hoping to have a look at the Graphic Design Curriculum files, but Extract Frog couldn't open the .rar file. Is there encryption?



Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 11/8/11 5:26:58 PM Permalink

Nice job. Great use of video tutorials, straight to the point, and glad that you zoom in where appropriate.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 10/23/11 2:43:56 PM Permalink

Cool beans! Kids are able to work at their own pace via your videos. Keep it up! :)

Adobe Education

Posted on 10/19/11 5:49:46 AM Permalink

Hi Bruce,

I'm very sorry for the trouble you are having. Unfortunately we don't deal with purchases or software troublshooting on the Exchange. You will need to contact Adobe support to help with the problems you are having.


~Adobe Education

Nancy Parker

Posted on 10/18/11 12:53:49 AM Permalink

Thank you so much for sharing this with the community!

Margaret Young

Posted on 10/17/11 11:37:32 PM Permalink

Looks fantastic

bob blob

Posted on 10/12/11 7:40:05 PM Permalink

i love it was great paced.

juan marcano

Posted on 10/12/11 12:38:40 AM Permalink

Hey, the videos are nicely done but I'd like to see how the additional videos you have on your youtube page figure in to the course of your semester. keep up the good work!

kaitlyn lucy

Posted on 10/12/11 12:13:45 AM Permalink

Great videos for EACH lesson! Laughing

jasmine kingston

Posted on 10/12/11 12:07:49 AM Permalink

amazing!! i love it!

Joel del la santo

Posted on 10/11/11 6:48:23 PM Permalink

This is really helpful. Thank you.

juan valdez

Posted on 10/11/11 6:21:16 PM Permalink


more credit

pablo ortiz

Posted on 10/11/11 6:20:14 PM Permalink

very good

yusef abdullaatif

Posted on 10/11/11 6:18:32 PM Permalink


veronica petron

Posted on 10/11/11 12:28:48 AM Permalink

Thank you so much! I've been looking for video tutorials designed for students and these seem perfect. I'm going to use the Winnie the Pooh and Air Force 1 project with my students.

Vicki Heckel

Posted on 10/10/11 11:46:10 PM Permalink

This was great. The pace was very good and the information was easy to follow. I learned something!!