Review by Kim Alessi, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2017
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Adobe Photoshop Express

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Top-notch photo editor helps perfect pics for creative projects

Subjects & skills
  • Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Tons of useful options, 2GB of storage, built-in social media templates, and easy sharing.

Cons: Requires a free Adobe account to access all features. Lacks some of the whimsy and fun of competitors.

Bottom Line: This is a powerful, free creation tool from the industry leader in photo editing.

Photoshop Express is the ideal tool to teach the fineries of photo editing. It's intuitive enough for beginners and has plenty of headroom for savvy users, too. The collage maker is a great way to showcase photos and is loaded with lots of layout, styling, and formatting options. Consider using PS Express to document class projects, field trips, professional development and PBL projects; use it to design school yearbooks, or to make photo collage posters for a Science Fair, a school play, or other special event. Students can create visual journals of engaging projects over the course of their term, even through the years, complete with text overlay. For a modern spin, students can custom-create images for their school's social media sites using a wide variety of in-app templates, complete with instant preview. Imagine empowered students designing YouTube video thumbnails and channel artwork, or promotional pictures for school fundraisers or events.  Full-feature sharing defaults to off, so opt in to share with social media networks.

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Adobe Photoshop Express is an app for photo editing and collage making with many features tuned to social media sharing. It's loaded with features, including standards like Instagram-like filters and effects, blemish and red-eye removers, color/brightness/exposure adjustments, borders, text overlays, and collage templates. Tools are arranged along the top and bottom of the screen; each has a handy slider to adjust the desired effect. Students won't get locked into edits; they can undo every action in order until they return to the original image. They can also quickly glance at the original image anytime to compare. Sharing features abound, with opt-in sharing across popular social media networks. Students and teachers can email creations directly from the app or save to the device's camera roll. No cutesy stickers, GIFs, or emoji options, however, so it's more for collage making purists.

Standout features include Text Styles (great for social media images), Perspective Correction, and My Looks (the ability to save custom adjustments for future use). As with any Adobe Creative Cloud product, PS Express projects are fully compatible with any other Adobe product.

Adobe Photoshop Express is a powerhouse photo editing app that brings many favorite Photoshop features to your mobile device for quick and easy photo modification and image/collage creation. Granted, it's gonna take a lot of experimentation to figure out everything on offer, but that's a good problem to have. It's a huge bonus that students can correct and modify their images and then take their creations and arrange them into numerous collage templates, including ones designed specifically for social media. Many competitors don't offer all of this in one package.

While it is free, students will have to create a free Adobe account to unlock all of the features. Designed by the industry leader in photo editing, this can be the only photo editing and collage making app you and your students will need, with robust features, great support, solid performance, and tons of sharing options for those on-the-go.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Intuitive, mobile photo editor/collage maker yields impressive results. All the standard features plus in-app social media and collage templates, numerous filters, themes, and text and border styles may even wow Photoshop pros.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Powerful tool for teaching photo editing and photo design projects. Landscape editing mode is a bonus. Compatible with other Adobe Creative Cloud apps, too. Social media-friendly for easy, on-the-go sharing.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Brief slide show intro. Good in-app Help and FAQs with access to Adobe's online community. Contacting Adobe Support requires Adobe account.

Common Sense Reviewer
Kim Alessi Educational Technology Specialist

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kiera O. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Great for Project Covers!
I loved shifting the focus to different objects within a photo by manipulating the colors and filters. It made the picture more clearly express the look I was going for.
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