Online classes, remote classes, or...

Times change. And now, with the global issue, education is nothing different. Many of us are receiving "clases online". But are they really "online"? What happens with "a distancia", "online", or "virtual" classes? In this article, I will try and explain the different as good as I can.

Let's start with "clases a distancia". A term that, here in Spain, everybody knows, thank to the UNED., the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. This has given form to the concept of "classes a distancia". Here in Spain, it means that the institute at which you are doing your course will provide you with your study materials. You receive them at home and that is how you do your classes and studies.

Then we move on to the "clases online". Traditionally, again, in Spain, they are similar to the "clases a distancia". The difference is in the part that, we the students have to go onto a platform created by the institute. There we can find all the materials we need.

Both are similar in the sense that, we the students, are responsible for our own planning. We have no contact with the teacher at a specific time, meaning, there are no in-person classes. We are required to self motivate.

But, and this is a big "but". Times change. The "global issue" happened. All of a sudden we have al our classes on platforms such as MS Teams, Zoom, and Skype. And, in our mind, we have them "online". Thanks to that, in Spanish the term "lases online" is turning into "in-person classes using online tools". So in Spain, since March/April, we have gotten used to saying "clases online" to whatever in-person classes using a platform like "Zoom". These are the classes where we agreed with out teacher on a specific time to interact with her at that specific time.

Good, now that it all out of the way, how to translate all this into English? Should be a walk in the park, right? Well... hold your horses. In Spain, we have gotten used to one thing, in the meantime the English speaking world has gotten used to something else.

What in Castilian we have started calling "a distancia", UNED style, or where all information is availabñle on a platform owned by the institute, so where we have to self motivate, in English we call that "online classes". Meaning, things are backward.

Also the other way around, are the "clases online", in Spanish. In English we call these "remote classes". This comes from the concept or "remote working" and so, why not the classes as well.

This als means that, we at TJ English Golf, at the moment, do all our "clases online", we give "remote classes". You could say that our YouTube channel is the other way around. Kind of.

I'm also starting to see the term "virtual classes" but I haven't found enough information on the topic to give good information to you on it. So, let's forget this one for the moment.

Bring It Together

Clases online (new style) = remote classes

Clases a distancia (old online) = Online classes.

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