>Two different programs ..... Painter is closer to Photoshop than it is to >Illustrator. It tries to simulate the effects of various media. Since you >are teaching high school you may want to consider Illustrator which is more >widely used in the professional committee.
Illustrator & Painter are used for different things. A basic graphics
software suit might include Illustrator or Freehand (the two dominant draw
vector programs) & Photoshop. Painter is a supplemental program that allows
more elaborate paint effects, but less powerful compositing features than
Photoshop. A good professional designer would probably use both, but it is
hardly necessary to teach both. If you can comfortably find your way around
Photoshop, Painter will seem natural.