I also teach commercial art, but sans computers. I teach what everyone
else has mentioned, type, layout and design, package design, interior
design. Two projects that have worked for me have been to: take a field
trip to a local attraction (we went to the acquarium). I gave them a
checklist of things to do on the way there and while they were there,
such as directions from the school, sketches of the layout of the
tanks/attractions, sketch 3 types of fish, sketch 3 types of plants,
etc. When we got back to school, they had to design a brochure for the
acquarium and use all of the information they gathered on their list.
(They made up an alphabet based on the fish/plant drawings, etc) The
purpose was not only to take all the information they have learned all
year, but to realize that information and drawings from life, will make
your work more meaningful. The other project was to have them design a
brochure for the art department. We look at the college flyers and
catalogues that we all get from local colleges and use them as a
starting point. Their finished brochures are then displayed opposite
the guidance department during 'sign up for next year's courses' week.
They explain the art department to all those students wondering what we
do in classes.