Dictation on Macs, iPads & iPhones

Dictation software is built in to all Apple technology. Students who use scribes in exams will benefit greatly from using dictation software to complete longer pieces of written work. It will also allow them to become confident using a scribe and for dictation to become their normal way of working. The more practise they get, the better they will become at structuring their work as working memory load will be reduced and more thought power can go into content rather than worrying about how to dictate.

How to use dictation on Macs: 

Set up Dictation

Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Dictation & Speech. Turn on Dictation, then choose from these Dictation options:

  • Use Enhanced Dictation.
  • Choose your language and dialect. Some languages, such as English, have multiple dialects.
  • Choose the keyboard shortcut you will use to signal that you're ready to start dictating.
  • Choose your preferred microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon.

Use Dictation

  1. Go to a document or other text field and place the insertion point where you want your dictated text to appear.
  2. Press the keyboard shortcut for starting dictation. The default shortcut is Fn Fn (press the Fn key twice). Or choose Edit > Start Dictation. When your Mac is listening, it displays a microphone with an input meter that rises and falls as you speak:
    Pages document
  3. Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Use dictation commands to add punctuation, formatting, and more.
  4. To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon, or press Fn, or switch to another window.

How to use dictation on iPads & iPhones

On iPads and iPhones simply click on the microphone symbol at the left and start dictating.

This can be used for Pages or Word documents.

Work can be emailed to teachers or saved on to the school network using the 'Securelink' app on the iPad by clicking the “share” (a box with arrow pointing upwards) button at the top of the page. Alternatively, work completed on Office 365 can be shared with the teacher automatically.