You can get Educational Licenses from the Adobe Education Store here: http://www.adobe.com/education.edu.html?showEduReq=no
For product comparison of what different versions of Photoshop families can do to find your best fit, visit here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/buying-guide.edu.html
Also - will be upgrading my MAC pro to an IMac next year - can I use any downloaded software on that also or should I wait and download on IMac only??
You can purchase/ install on your Mac Pro now. Later, migrate the license to your new iMac.
With 1 license, you're eligible to install Photoshop on upto 2 computers, as long as you don't run them both at the same time - i.e - one home laptop and one home desktop (personal use only).
A Mac version of PS will run on either machine. You just need to uninstall if you are selling the Mac Pro.
AFAIK there is only one choice of student/teacher edition Photoshop: Photoshop Extended.
A better $ deal is to purchase the CS6 suite, but keep in mind when you upgrade the suite in the future, you have to upgrade the entire suite, you can't cherry-pick apps to upgrade.
The are different versions of the CS6 suite, a recommendation would depend on what your interests are.
Hmm. I thought educational PS Elements only came bundled with Primer Elements. Not standalone. Must be wrong...
BUT if the original question is what academic software to purchase: Photoshop Elements or Photoshop Extended, then absolutely Photoshop Extended. Its student price is a whopping $750 OFF the retail price (in US Store: $249 vs. $999).
In my experience when buying software as a student, I would have to say that you should think about what your specific needs are. PS Extended has additional features such as 3D capabilities and video editing, so if you feel that you would be using those features, than certainly go ahead and get PS Extended.
Sudarshan is right that you can migrate your license over and your get two installs of the software, so no need to wait! : )
I would encourage you to try the Creative Cloud (student price is only 19.99 a month for the entire year). It'll give you a chance to play with all of the programs Adobe has to offer and comes with other exclusive "perks" like 20GB of cloud storage, access to Typekit, and a single edition of Digital Publishing Suite, and lots of other great services.
This of course, is only a suggestion, but I personally would agree with Charles and get PS Extended as it is much cheaper than retail price and can give you a lot of features to play with. : )
I hope this helps!
I agree with Devon. I was a student intern last summer and I would also recommend looking into getting a Creative Cloud subscription. As she said, it's $19.99 a month for students and teachers, and therefore around $240 a year but it allows you to download the entire creative suite, meaning all Adobe products plus all current updates whenever you want. If you just buy a CS6 version of Photoshop it will be out of date when CS7 comes out, and if you want to stay up to date which I think would be necessary for anyone who uses the program on a regular basis, you'll have to buy an upgrade. If you stay on the cloud, you get all programs constantly updated every month you pay for your subscription.
Sorry if I sound like a salesman, I just think it's a pretty good deal. The Creative Cloud was Adobe's way of staying green by minimizing packaging costs and reducing piracy by offering everything online including updates at an incredibly affordable price especially when you compare it to the price of just one packaged software license for any other program. This is what I'm on now and it's what I would recommend, but of course it's entirely up to you.
Check it out on the Adobe website.