Ed.D. in Educational Administration & Leadership, 2008
School of Education
September 1, 2009
Dissertation Research on Ableism in Technology Access Cited for Excellence by the Council for the Study of Community Colleges
Born as a fourth-generation Jerusalemite, and now living in California as a “first- generation” Los Angelino, Amit Schitai, Ed.D., has been engaged in education, teaching, and learning for most of his life.
After his first teaching experience at the age of 14 as a tutor in a boarding school in North Jerusalem, Amit finished his military service in the Israeli army in 1980 and then completed his B.A. and Teacher Certificate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Amit’s first career assignment in education was as a teacher of Hebrew as a Second Language (HSL) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Brandeis University branch in Jerusalem and, later, as a teacher of Hebrew as a Foreign Language (HFL) in various universities in the U.S., such as the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the University of Judaism and Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles; and CSU Long Beach, specializing in teaching Biblical and Modern Hebrew. Amit also developed the curriculum for the Hebrew classes in many of the institutions he worked for in the U.S., including the one-day Modern Hebrew Crash Course (copyrighted).
Early in his teaching career, Amit was fascinated by the integration of technology in his classes, as he realized the potential of technology in language learning and teaching. At the time, he also worked for Israeli Educational Television, writing film scripts for the Hebrew version of Sesame Street (“Sumsum”) and for the Israeli Broadcast Authority; writing Hebrew language-related children radio plays for Hebrew speakers abroad; and mixing sound effects in children radio plays broadcast daily for Israeli youth.
In the mid-1980s, while working on his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (his research examined the use of interactive video in foreign language learning), Amit realized the potential of computers in education; and he developed his first interactive video (multimedia) courseware to support students in his Hebrew of the Communication Media class. The courseware program (“The Safe Affair, a Courtroom Drama”) was recognized by EDUCOM with its Distinguished Software Award in 1989.
Following his doctoral studies (ABD) at the University of Michigan, and upon moving to California, Amit continued working in educational technology, pursuing a career as an instructional designer, first in commercial software development studios, working on simulations for health care professionals, computer-based training for a large health care organization, and an interactive American history courseware for schools in Florida, Texas, and California, and then at the California Community College system.
In 1995 Amit accepted a position at Long Beach City College (LBCC) as a Computer/Media Design Specialist. Through a Federal Title III grant, Amit launched the Instructional Technology Development Center at LBCC. To promote the effectiveness of the Center, Amit implemented a team-approach for the on-going operation of the Center. The team consisted of professional educational technologists who were assigned to work with individual professors on the design and delivery methods of courseware programs tailored to the specific needs of the students in the participating classes. The courseware programs developed at the Center apply principles of student-centered learning and individualized instruction to contribute to student success, and assist students and faculty throughout the learning and teaching process. In 2001, Amit accepted a position as a Director of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning at LBCC and began working diligently to develop the first online course program at the college. Currently, the program offers over 160 distance learning classes, serving about 5,000 students per semester.
As a student in the CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D. program, working closely with Dr. Dawn Person (CSU Fullerton) and Dr. Mark Warschauer (UC Irvine), Amit researched social aspects of technology usage in higher education by examining the extent of ableist biases in accessibility policies and their implementation practices. In April 2009, his dissertation was cited for excellence by the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC).
Beyond work experience and academic studies, Amit’s knowledge is informed greatly by tennis, from which he learns to how to think ahead, anticipate moves, and respond to situations. He is an avid Wimbledon grass tennis fan, who once every few years also crosses the channel to watch some Roland Garros grand slam matches on the red clay.