I hope that this online tool isn't ever needed but if, as learning providers, you are considering purchasing cameras that - let's be realistic - may be lost and/or stolen, perhaps you should consider if this tool can be used to locate the "new owners"; you could then contact them and ask them or tell them to return the camera.
What do I mean?
Only some camera models store their unique serial numbers in the Exchangeable image file (exif) data of each digital photograph taken. If one of these cameras are lost or stolen, old photographs may be used to locate the "new owner".
Note: you will have to wait for them to share a picture, that they have taken with your camera, online.