Although we probably won't have computers during class sessions - this is, after all the IBM Room, and we'll probably have a sucky projector too - students might be able to do programming exercises in order to understand operating systems concepts. Students will need Knoppix or another Linux distribution; if I have them install it early, then they can get a quick introduction to C and system calls.
Could this be a potential overlap with systems programming? OS is supposed to prepare them for that anyway. Who knows, they might even replace parts of the OS in their systems programming course. We discussed pairing the operating systems course with the systems programming course during the curriculum review, so it's probably not a bad idea.