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Siri is available on iPad 3 and later, on all iPad Minis, and on iPhone 4s onward. With Siri you can ask questions and give instructions and also dictate text.

To use Siri, you must be connected to the internet by wifi or a mobile network.

To set Siri up go to:

  • Settings > General > Siri and slide the button on.​

To set up Siri so you can dictate text, go to:

  • Settings > General > Keyboards > Enable Dictation and slide the button on.​

To help you get started, refer to:

Training Siri

It's easy - you don't need to. Or at least, there is no formal training process where you read a set text. However, we believe that Siri does get better and more accurate the more you use it.

Learning to use Siri

A fun way to introduce Siri is to ask him/her questions, and tell your iDevice what to do. The Siri User Guide has some good examples or see the list on Getting Started with Siri below.

Dictating with Siri

Once you have enabled dictation in Settings (see above), you will find a new microphone button at the bottom left of the iPad keyboard. Tap the mic button to turn on Siri and you can dictate text to your iPad.  

Before you introduce Siri to a student, learn to use it yourself - with the guides above. For teaching students we suggest the procedure outlined in Speech Recognition as AT for Writing, by Daniel Cochrane and Kelly Key, which uses the following approach:

  1. Consider It! - Is SR an appropriate tool for the student and the learning tasks? Not every student can use SR, and you can't necessarily use it for every learning task.
  2. Try It! - SR is not magic. You must teach the student to use SR, and to compose and dictate.
  3. Assess It! - What does SR offer compared to handwriting, typing or other writing tools?
  4. Implement It! - If SR looks like it is a viable tool, how can it be introduced into class and at home?


You don't need a microphone to use Siri - you can just speak into the iPad's built-in mic - but you have to hold the iPad reasonably close. With an external microphone, you don't have to hold the device close to your mouth and it is less likely to pick up sounds around you.

You can use standard speech recognition headsets with a jack plug but you will need a adapter such as a StarTech 4 Pin Headset Splitter Adapter (P129876P) to make it work with the iPad jack socket. You can also use wireless Bluetooth microphones such as the Avantalk AH5.

Reading back what you have dictated

You can use the iPad's built-in Speak Selection to read back you dictated text. To turn on Speak Selection, go to:

  • Settings > Accessibility > Speech and slide the Speak Selection button on.

Now select your dictated text, and tap Speak in the menu.

You can also dictate into apps that have their own text-to-speech facility, such as:

  • ClaroSpeak,
  • Co:Writer BE,
  • iReadWrite,
  • iWordQ
  • or WriteOnline.

Getting Started with Siri

​Ask Siri questions

  • Who is Taylor Swift?
  • What's the time in Budapest?
  • What's the temperature in Aviemore?
  • Is it raining in Kilmarnock?
  • What is the square root of 78?
  • What can I do?

Search the web

  • Search the web
  • Search the web for... pancake recipes

Manage events in the calendar

  • Meet Jamie for lunch tomorrow at 1pm
  • What's in my calendar for 12th January 2015?
  • Schedule a band practice tomorrow at 4pm at Queensferry High School
  • Cancel the band practice tomorrow
  • What does my day look like?
  • Search my calendar for holidays

Create Reminders

  • Remember to bring my PE kit on Monday
  • Remind me to bring my trombone on Tuesday
  • Remind me to hand in English homework on Friday when I get to school
  • Remind me to call Sally on Wednesday at 8pm

Use the timer

  • Set the timer for 15 minutes
  • Wake me at 7 tomorrow


  • Send a message to Joe Bloggs.
  • Read it back to me.
  • Send an email to Joe Bloggs.
  • Find email from Joe Bloggs.
  • Find messages from Joe Bloggs.
  • Post a message to Twitter
  • Post a message to Facebook


  • Play George Ezra
  • Play Blame it on me
  • What's this song? (iOS 8 only)

Make notes

  • Make a note called Christmas List
  • Add an iPhone, new line
  • Add a mountain bike, new line
  • Add a Fender Stratocaster
  • Show me my Christmas List note

Start apps

  • Launch Book Creator

Book Creator

  • Create a book, record audio, play it back then dictate the text

Comic Life

  • Make a comic and add dialogue

Worksheet questions

  • Dictate answers into a worksheet

Cloze procedures

  • Complete cloze procedures