will.i.am explains the value of software coding in a new ed-tech public service announcement.

A new video from Code.org is making waves not just in education circles, but with students who say they want more from their school’s curriculum.

As the experts in the video attest, software coding is still thought of more as a “hobby” than as a valuable skill that should be taught in K-12 classrooms.

“Here we are, 2013; we all depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and [for] information, and none of us know how to read and write code,” says Will.i.am, singer/songwriter who’s now taking software coding classes.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the ed-tech video is that all of the innovative programmers interviewed—including Bill Gates and the engineers of Dropbox—say they got into programming when they were children and by taking introductory classes in computer science.

“My parents bought me a Macintosh in 1984 when I was eight years old,” says Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter.

Most of the videos’ participants also say that what sparked their interest in programming was not a need to learn everything about computer science, but an interest in reaching out to others through an online connection.

“You don’t have to be a genius to code,” says a technical artist for Valve. “Do you have to be a genius to read?”

The video also discusses what companies are doing to attract the top programmers in the country, as well as their plea for schools to promote software coding to help fill the nearly one million jobs available today in programming that might go unfulfilled.

According to Code.org, only one in 10 schools today teaches students how to code.

Watch the video here:


Follow Associate Editor Meris Stansbury on Twitter at @eSN_Meris.