As much as we hear from speakers, documentaries, and articles on the negative effects of media, the solution suggested for the problems has been a bit passive, if not disappointing––that we should educate each other and the young consumers to be media literate.
But this remote system seems to be a first step from passive outlook on media literacy to a more interactive approach; although the device is made for a classroom setting, I feel that it can be utilized outside the class if guided with an already media literate mentor (parents, older siblings, etc.) to finally start to combat some negative effects, if not habits, emerging from the media. It is as if this series of apps is trying to make a statement that if smartphones, with their unprecedented popularity and their perceived necessity, has been used to infiltrate within the users with bigger and more frequent images, stereotypes, and harmful messages, that it can also be used “against” the media. Check it out.

Renee Hobbs at the Media Education Lab

Media Literacy Remote ControlBy Jonathan Friesem


Ever since the Media Education Lab moved from Temple University to the University of Rhode Island, I was looking for a chance to update the classic media literacy “remote control,” first developed by Renee Hobbs in 1993.

While the remote control presents a metaphor for the active and structured approach to the analysis of media and popular culture, the remote control is gradually being replaced by the smartphone. So when I was preparing to present our work at conferences and meetings in China and Israel, I re-designed the remote control design, changing it to a smartphone look while keeping the key questions and core concepts the same. Now the new media literacy smartphone is available for purchase in inexpensive classroom sets for educators

Jonathan Friesem demonstrates the new MEL app for media literacyIn early January, I was invited to present the core concepts of media literacy in front of a leading group of communication…

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