This post originally appeared on the blog The Techie Teacher.

“Hey Siri!” My husband continues to roll his eyes every time he hears me call my girl. However, I have to be honest… I haven’t always used Siri. This is more of a recent habit that I have fallen into, quickly. Every day it seems like I learn something new about what Siri can do. She is one smart cookie!

Have you ever thought about using Siri in the classroom? I use her occasionally on my iPhone; however, why couldn’t we use her on our classroom iPads or iPods?

To activate Siri to work on your device(s), simply go to Settings>General>Siri and turn her on! Hold down the home button (what I like to refer to as the belly button) of your device and up pops Siri.


I like to have the “Allow Hey Siri” option ON when using my personal cell phone. This lets me be completely hands free (like when I am driving across the county in between schools) and I can control everything with just MY voice.

I wouldn’t have students use this option on school devices unless I was in a one to one classroom.

Here is a list of 10 things that Siri can do for YOU and even your students during your busy days in the classroom.


10 Things Siri can do in the classroom for you and your students


Students can use Siri to help with spelling and definitions of words

Students can grab an iPad or iPod Touch and ask Siri to spell words or give definitions for vocabulary terms. This can help assist and promote independence during Writing Workshop, Reading Centers, Vocabulary Development, and more. It is also a great tool to use to practice dictionary skills in a more engaging way 🙂

What to say: “How do you spell ________?” or “What is the definition for ________?”


Use Siri for all kinds of mathematical calculations

That’s right teachers! You can have Siri do all of your math while you are on the move. She can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Siri can even convert measurements. Have her figure out a grade percentage (or even tips on a bill when you are out to eat.)

This Siri tip is one I would refrain from sharing with my students unless I wanted them to check their work; however, I’m sure they would figure it out in a snap. Yesterday I had to add up a huge list of numbers so I just read them off to Siri and she did the calculation for me. It was beautiful because my fat fingers often times hit other numbers on my keyboard when I use the calculator app. What I like about using Siri for this is that the final screen shows me all of the numbers calculated as well as the sum.

What to say: “What is 8×7?” or “32 plus 44 plus 22.5 plus 4” or “What’s a 20% tip on $92.00?”


Siri can set reminders for you in the matter of seconds

Teachers are constantly on the G-O and don’t have much time to stop and write things down. Have Siri set reminders for you. I use this Siri feature all of the time when I am driving and think of things I need to be reminded of throughout my day.  If you are one to one, have students set their own reminders!

What to say: “Remind me tomorrow at 7:30 am to pass out field trip permission slips.”

You can even set up location based reminders (you have to enter the addresses in your contacts). This allows you to say things like “Remind me to call Larry when I leave school.” As soon as you pull out of the parking lot, DING!

Students and teachers can get Siri to add events to their calendars
Have Siri instantly add events to your calendar. Once you ask her to add an event, you can confirm that all of the details are correct before it is added to your calendar. If you are one to one, have students add their assignment due dates to their own calendar.

What to say: “Add __(event name)__ to my calendar for __(date)__ and __(time)__.”


Siri can help assist decision making! Flip a coin or roll a die...
Siri can flip a coin or roll a die! The die can have any number of sides you like: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20… This could come in handy when students need a quick way to decide who is going first, speak, etc.

What to say: “Flip a coin.” or “Roll a die with 6 sides.”


Siri can be a weather forecaster
Siri can help Pre-K through 1st grade teachers who do calendar time or anyone studying weather. Have her tell you what the forecast will be or what temperature it is outside.

What to say: “What’s the temperature outside?” “What is the weather forecast?”


Students can use Siri for research. She will even read aloud the information which is great for younger students!
Invite Siri to help with research, especially with the younger kids. She will even read the information out loud.  

What to say: “When did ______ happen?” or “What was _______?” or “Who was _________?”

Here is one that I need to use more often when I need to focus on specific tasks at work/home! Teachers, tell Siri to not disturb you so you can focus on the joys of being a teacher. You know, writing those lesson plans, filling out report cards, grading assignments…

What to say: “Do not disturb.” or “Airplane mode”.

Siri can set alarms for you
Have Siri set an alarm for you/your students in seconds. I always had to remember when to send students to the nurse after lunch to take their medicine or brush their teeth. I needed Siri in my life back then. This really comes in handy when I want to take a quick nap after a long day of work.

What to say: “Set an alarm for____” or “Wake me up at____”.

This is different from a reminder because your alarm will ring until you turn it off. Reminders just make one sound when they pop up.


Have Siri refer to you as any nickname: "Mr. Wonderful", "Beautiful", "Mrs. Incredible"
Sometimes teachers just need a little pick me up. Train Siri to call you something like Mrs. Wonderful, Beautiful Goddess, Mr. Heartthrob… it is the small things that can make a teacher smile. “Mrs. Incredible” has already been taken.

What to say: “Call me ______ from now on.”

(Many students don’t know about this one. When you feel like they are outsmarting you, show them this trick!)

*So there are 10 ways you can use Siri in your life/classroom! What other ways could teachers and students use Siri?* 


techieteacherbio-jpgJulie Smith, The Techie Teacher, is an elementary technology integrator who works with teachers and students to make their learning experience engaging and meaningful. She previously taught 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade. Julie’s goal as a Teacher-Author is to provide educators with ideas and resources that will give them the confidence to integrate technology into their everyday lessons. Be sure to visit her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and her TpT store.