Covid-19 seems to limit us from doing all gathering activities. Almost all activities are carried out virtually or online. Teaching and learning are also carried out online. This certainly has an impact on the academic community within the scope of higher education. Almost all campus activities have to be canceled, while activities that are taking place have to be carried out online. One of them was the annual event for the Diploma English Program called English Blast. At this time of social distancing, English Blast could not be celebrated as usual. However, these restrictions did not limit the creativity of the Students Association of Diploma English Program to continue to hold the English Blast 2020 even though it should be held online.
This year’s English Blast raised the theme Explotion: Explore and Action. The goal of this event was to distribute the academic and non-academic potential, talents, and hobbies internally and externally. This year’s external category of English Blast opened registration for senior high school/vocational high school students all over Indonesia. There were 2 competition branches in the external category, including Music Cover and Speech Contest. The assessment was also quite interesting by using YouTube media as a booster for the enthusiasts and the branding of the EDSO image itself. With the theme Behind the New Normal in the Speech Contest, it was proven to attract participants from outside the East Java region, a small step that resulted in positive results.
Meanwhile, for the internal category, English Blast held a Podcast Competition within the internal scope of the department. Achmad Faris Ashari as the chief executive of English Blast 2020 stated that the podcast competition is an innovative step considering that many teenagers currently enjoy podcast media. “This is a simple but very interesting innovation, considering that many people, particularly young people, very like Podcasts. This competition is also expected to be able to distribute the creativity and aspirations of the students of the Diploma English Program during this pandemic.”
It is expected that this activity will be able to channel and develop potential talents, especially during the current pandemic. Besides, it can provide an extraordinary experience for the next year.