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Delegates approve new NEA policy on digital learning

NEA president says effective integration of technology will help improve student learning

ATLANTA - July 05, 2013 -

Delegates to the 2013 National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly today adopted a new policy statement that acknowledges the importance of digital learning, as well as educator interaction with students. Recommended by NEA’s Board of Directors in April, the policy reflects the Association’s first broad endorsement of combining digital learning with face-to-face instruction to create an optimal student learning environment.

“This policy is not about replacing teachers with laptops—that misguided notion shortchanges students. The thoughtful and appropriate use of technology has the power to improve student learning opportunities, enhance the quality and effectiveness of instruction and reduce education inequities,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Students need to develop advanced critical thinking and information literacy skills and master new digital tools in order to become self-directed learners. NEA embraces this new, blended approach to teaching and learning because it will allow us to better prepare our students for citizenship, college and for 21st century careers.”

The new statement emphasizes the need to address equity issues related to broadband Internet access and software and technical support. It says all pre-k-12 teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals and administrators should have access to relevant, high-quality, interactive professional development on integrating digital learning and technology into instruction.

“In today’s classroom, a teacher’s ability to connect with students is improved with the use of technology. There’s no turning back,” said Van Roekel. “The ability of any school to deliver on the opportunity of education technology rests on the preparedness of all its educators. We know that to be successful, schools and higher education institutions first must work with educators to create a robust digital learning plan so that resources are focused rather than wasted.”

With the approval of this policy, the Representative Assembly also directed NEA to demonstrate its support of digital learning by providing leadership and sharing learning opportunities by and with educators to develop high quality digital learning that enhances instruction and ultimately improves students’ learning.

NEA’s Representative Assembly—the Association’s primary legislative and policymaking body—is meeting in Atlanta from July 3-6. This democratic body consists of nearly 9,000 delegates, representing local and state affiliates, teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty, and student and retired members nationwide.

Learn more about the NEA Policy Statement on Digital Learning by visiting

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.