In the context of the pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19, the problems of organizing the educational process based on digital technologies came to the fore, and therefore close attention was paid to distance education. At the same time, to optimize the educational process, questions arise about the use of smart technologies. In this regard, there is often a replacement of concepts such as distance education and smart education. Smart education is often viewed as a form of distance education based on communication and information technology. The article compares two educational systems: distance education and smart education. As a result of the analysis, the main positions were identified that showed the integrity of each of the educational systems under consideration.