My wish for SMART Technologies

I’ve worked in IT for K-12 school districts now for six years and during those years, I’ve worked on many, many SMARTBoards.  One wish for SMART would be to create a central management console for SMARTBoards, similar to what every projector company now has for their projectors.

Why do this?
Save time for the IT technicians and headaches for teachers.  Think of how much time you could save if you could see the serial number, firmware version and connectivity of all the SMARTBoards in your school district.  If you know a part needs replacing on a SMARTBoard, wouldn’t it be nice to get the serial number of that board by looking in the console instead of driving to a school to look at the sticker on the side of the board?  When new SMARTBoards are installed in your classrooms, you need to update the firmware on them since they come shipped with very old firmware.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see what version is on them and be able to update the firmware through the console?  A teacher calls saying nothing is working on the SMARTBoard and isn’t sure what’s wrong.  Wouldn’t it be nice to look in the console and see if the computer is connected to the SMARTBoard and it is communicating properly?

How can this be done?
Integrating a network port into every SMARTBoard would be expensive and not very easy to do.  So what I propose is an approach like anti-virus software where an agent is installed on the computer and communicates with the management console which is installed on a server.