Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Student Email Skill: How and When to Use CC and BCC

As students become more adept at using email to communicate with teachers, learning to use the Carbon Copy and Blind Carbon Copy functions of an email platform is valuable. These two, simple functions can help students be more efficient, same time, provide privacy and demonstrate some digital citizenship. The screenshots below are designed to show students where to access these functions and how they work. Feel free to share these examples with your students.

Where to access the Carbon Copy and Blind Carbon Copy functions

In Gmail, at the right side of the first row/line of an email message, you will see the symbols for both. Cc stands for Carbon Copy and Bcc stands for Blind Carbon Copy. Clicking on either one will add a row/line below the first row/line. 

The names or email addresses you put in the Cc line will receive a Carbon Copy of your message. This is used when you want other people to be aware of the message you are sending to an individual or group. The people you Cc are those you do not expect to reply to the message. 

Bcc is a tool for protecting the privacy of people's email addresses when part of email groups and mailing lists. Names in the Bcc line will not be visible to each other. If you put multiple names in the Bcc line, they will not know the message is being sent to other people. They will receive the message and not know who else can see the message. 

When might students use these functions?

Students could use Carbon Copy when sending a general inquiry message to all of their teachers. For example, if communicating about an upcoming absence, they could Cc all of their teachers and counselors. 

Students might use Blind Carbon Copy when sending a message to multiple classmates. Leadership students who are tasked with messaging large amounts of classmates for school events would use this to ensure they don't get a flood of Reply All messages. Another example for use of Bcc is in a community service project when students are sending messages to community organizations and members.

If you have any questions and would like a follow up, contact me via Gmail or Hangouts at 

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

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