Friday, February 1, 2013

Can Skitch improve your damage billing process?

Thinking back to my days of living as a Residence Hall Director, I remember how difficult it was to decipher what RAs had scribbled onto the room condition report in order to appropriately bill students at the end of the year.  Arguments over ". . . that paint chip was there" or " . . .that drawing on the bedframe is from 1985" were common in the days of using a room condition report.

With tablets integrating more and and more into higher education, I wonder if the time has arrived to move towards a more graphical form of the room condition report with notes on photos as opposed to having a form.  While a perfect app hasn't been developed just yet, the ability to have students sign next to the photos they see at check-in would be more helpful than text attempting to describe quantity and quality of damages.

While a comprehensive app doesn't exist, an app does exist for taking photos and marking them up.  With the most recent update, I'm becoming a fan of Skitch.  The interface is user friendly and results are acceptable.  Above this post is a photo that I imported and marked up to show how Residence Life Professionals may utilize this tool as a means to improve their damage billing process.

I know that purchasing iPads to accomplish this task adds infrastructure costs.  However, I think the increased accuracy will help alleviate future concerns from parents and students int he damage billing process (most, not all).