The National Education Association (NEA) plans to offer professional development courses, classroom materials, and career planning online to its 2.6 million members.

NEA selected iLearning Inc., a Baltimore-based company that provides technology and eLearning content, to create and maintain a web portal under a six-year, multi-million dollar contract.

Allen Tait, iLearning’s chief executive officer, said NEA’s intention is to provide its members with more value-added services. The site will have the functionality of a web portal but with an education spin, he said. Members will be able to update their profiles, purchase goods online, develop curriculum, and enhance their skills through web-based training courses.

“It’s not just the NEA that’s making this transition, a lot of associations are making this transition,” Tait said. “There’s a lot more being done with the internet because of its convenience and much lower cost of delivery.”

The site will be tested in several states before being deployed to all of NEA’s members as early as next fall, Tait said.

NEA declined to comment until the portal is officially launched, saying the site is still in its early stages of development.