OP-ED: Technology in OUSD Opens Opportunities for Students



By Michael B Hudson, CMT Integration Inc.


Having the opportunity to utilize current technology in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is always a good thing.


The recent landmark partnership between OUSD and the Intel Corporation, brokered by Rev. Jesse Jackson, will usher in a new expansion of young minds to a world of unlimited possibilities. Rev. Jackson said he wants the partnership to “expand computer science offerings in the district to create a technology jobs pipeline from Oakland public schools to Silicon Valley.”


As the owner of a technology business, I see this partnership as not only a pipeline to Silicon Valley, but also a bridge to an industry currently unknown to most students in OUSD.


Jobs that once required little or no technological skills now require computer applications as well as manual skill sets in order to build a career.


One example is an auto mechanic. At one time, to qualify for this job you only needed to know how to turn a wrench. However, new cars now have a vast array of onboard computer systems, which require advanced computer skills to troubleshoot.


Another example is a stationary engineer – people who maintain office buildings. Before the computer revolution, you could just turn a wrench here and/or change a light bulb there on the job. Now, this career requires the technical knowledge for handling lighting in office buildings, and repairing heating and air conditioning controls for efficiency.


These jobs are just two of possibly hundreds of occupations that now require technology as a major component to their advancement in the world today.


I applaud Rev. Jackson, the Intel Corporation, and OUSD on the new computer science and engineering pilot program, with the hope that it will expand to other disciplines in the future.


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