Berkley’s Newest Class: Student Podcast Productions


Aiden Aronoff

Logan Field in Podcasting Class

This year, Berkley High School gained an amazing new class, Podcasting. Mrs. Ford and juniors Aiden Aronoff and Logan Field worked together last year to create a class for students of all ages who want to create and release podcasts.

Mrs. Ford explains that having a class in podcasting is “What I’ve always wanted to do.” She even started a podcast in 2020, but has been a podcast enthusiast for far longer. She also explained that she makes yearly goals, one of them being to do something for or with her community that has never been done before saying,“[Podcasting Class] checked all my boxes in terms of my interests and skills.” Ford highlights that another great thing about this class is, “Podcasting is very popular, and I wanted to try to do something that could tap into that popularity. I would love to help students create their own content as a medium.”

Mrs. Ford isn’t the only one loving the new class. Co-creator Logan Field explains, “I thought being able to produce my own podcast with friends was a really cool thing that not every high school student has the opportunity to do, so I thought having this opportunity was really unique and something I wanted to take advantage of!” Similar to Writing for Publication and Yearbook, the class is student-led; Mrs. Ford is more of an advisor than a teacher. In the class and in what they create, the students have a lot of freedom. They usually begin class with a meeting to see how everyone’s podcast is coming along, but the rest of the hour is spent working. Logan tells us that people are either picking out a topic, doing research, conducting interviews, recording, or editing audio. 

In the class, the students create episodes that are all a part of one podcast, the BearPod. Each episode is done by individuals or groups and is a deep dive into a completely student-generated topic that is relevant and interesting to other Berkley students. In choosing what content to put out to the high school, Mrs. Ford explains that these questions are necessary to ask: “Great, we have that interview but what’s the episode about? What’s the point? What’s the intrigue there?” This podcast exists for the Berkley students, so each topic must always reflect that. Furthermore, for each podcast episode, the students must have outside research and have an interview of some kind. Mrs. Ford explains, “[Podcasting] is not an opportunity for you to rant. Even if they have outside opinions, that will never be the focus of the episode.” For example, in the second episode Aronoff and Field talk about the “Secret Life of Teachers.” In this podcast they did not make assumptions, but instead interviewed three teachers and gave facts about their outside lives.

The only mandated assignment in this class is creating a podcast episode as a whole class. Mrs. Ford does this for many reasons. For one, she says, “If they get to choose their groups all year long they are never going to build relationships with the other people in the class.” In addition, since this class is very student-led it is important for the younger students to learn from those that are more experienced. Mrs. Ford added, “I need to make sure that I am building assignments where I force people to work in groups they didn’t choose, so we can have 9th graders working with seniors. It’s really important for the younger people to see how the older people in the room operate.” By implementing this cross-grade work and having people with different interests work together, students are fine-tuning and growing their skills.

The Podcast Class does not just give students freedom and individuality, but gives students the necessary skills for their future. Mrs. Ford said, “When I think about what skills you guys will need in the workplace I do feel like we need to add to the skill sets that we’re working with in high school.” Mrs. Ford touches on the importance of not only knowing how to edit and create video or audio content, but also how to market the things you create. The future is growing in its use of technology and marketing, meaning students keep needing a more dynamic skill set. This class is helping students get there. 

The BearPod has two episodes out already, and many more to come! To listen to student-created content about important topics, visit BearPod on Spotify! If you are looking for a class that offers a platform for creative freedom, this is the one for you!