From Franz Kafka to Mars and from media innovation to displacement education, the Smith Learning Theater has transported learners to new educational worlds by breaking down traditional norms and expanding what it means to learn through experience. This list showcases five of the most popular events to take place in the versatile, experiential, shape-shifting, one-of-a-kind library space.

1. Digital Learning Highlights Work of Leading EdTech and Media Innovators
Digital Learning @ TC came to the Learning Theater in April and featured an interactive, multimedia exhibit to show students and faculty the many opportunities innovative digital learning has for education. Lead curator of the event, Kyle Oliver, discusses how this event showcases ways technology can supplement research.

2. High School Students Reimagine the Metamorphosis With Art
Teachers College doctoral candidate Ariela Robinson made use of the Learning Theater’s flexibility to curate an art showcase inspired by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. This exhibit invited high school students and professional artists alike to respond to the dark novella in imaginative, deeply personal, and unprecedented ways.

3. An Out of This World Learning Experience
The Learning Theater took on new frontiers when it transformed into Mars and gave learners an experiential lesson on the red planet. Kim Kefgen explains how this event, at once educational and awe-inspiring, both taught participants about Mars and showcased the capabilities of the Learning Theater to inspire future ideas.

4. Teachers in Conflict and Displacement Workshop
Also in April, the Learning Theater hosted a workshop on education in displacement and refugee contexts. This event was led by Professor Mary Mendenhall and was geared toward graduate students studying issues of child protection, pedagogy, curriculum, and teacher well-being in emergency situations.

5. The Art of Dissolving Boundaries
The Literacy Unbound program also saw a workshop hosted by Veronica Black that taught participants how to fuse digital and physical materials to create a new environment or design an innovative experience. With Black’s guidance, participants transformed part of the Learning Theater into the Congo River using projectors, lighting, and physical props.

Image: by via Learning Theater Spotlight