@gcigale Tweets

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Mom is Vice President!"

Recently, I had a friendly and productive conversation with Nataly Kogan, founder and CEO of http://www.workitmom.com/. An empowering new site and business that Nataly started a few months ago, Work, it Mom! provides a place for many well-known (and soon-to-be-well-known) bloggers to write, share, and interact with other working moms in a vibrant community.

A mutual friend connected us because she thought we'd have a lot to talk about and a business partnership may evolve. She was right. The community, as the URL implies, has been built by and for working moms. Since so many of Tutor.com's customers and tutors are working moms, I figured it was time for a subtle plug.

I learned that Nataly comes from a couple of worlds that are very familiar to me -- we both immigrated to the US from Russia as kids, learning a new culture and language, and adapting well. After a stint at McKinsey, Nataly worked at early stage companies and then spent a few years in the high powered world of venture capital investing, a world I have spent a good amount of time in over the past 10 years. Being on the investor side made her realize how much she enjoyed building a company, and that led to the birth of Work it, Mom! earlier this year.

Check out the site -- there's so much valuable content on a wide range of family and professional issues that all moms and all professionals with families tackle every day. And the writers and contributors are great; many are hand-picked by Nataly and her team because they already have an impressive blogging presence and devoted readership. You can easily become a member and start sharing your thoughts and experiences by writing at http://www.workitmom.com/.

And for more insight into the people behind Tutor.com, take a look at Work it, Mom!'s interview with Joan Rooney, Tutor.com's Vice President of Provider Management. Joan (picture -- top row, 2nd from left) and her team manage over 2,000 Tutor.com tutors, and she shares her thoughts about her job, family life, and the challenges and glory of being a working mom. Interview is at http://www.workitmom.com/interview-512.


George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Access Algebra

Today, we're announcing a unique and exciting program we're launching in Dallas called All Access Algebra. We're working closely with the Richardson Independent School District, as well as providing 200 free minutes of on demand tutoring for every algebra student in the Dallas area. To learn more, read our official press release below or at http://www.tutor.com/, and take a look at my 5-minute appearance on the Good Morning Texas show.

George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com

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Tutor.com Provides Dallas-Area Students with Free On Demand Tutoring

Students can Sign Up Today for “All Access Algebra” to get
200 Minutes of Free Tutoring for the Fall Semester

Students Attending Richardson Independent School District have
Access to Expanded Program


Dallas, TX (September 26, 2007) – Tutor.com, the leading provider of on demand tutoring and homework help, is kicking off two free programs for Dallas-area students that offer online help from professional tutors the minute a student gets stuck.

All Access Algebra launches today and allows any student in the greater Dallas-area enrolled in any Algebra course to sign up for 200 minutes of Tutor.com free during the fall semester. Tutor.com is also working with the Richardson Independent School District to offer all enrolled 7th -12th graders access to free tutoring in all core subjects for the 2007-08 school year.

Dallas-area students should go to www.tutor.com/algebra to sign up for their 200 free minutes between September 26 and October 10. The free tutoring minutes can be used anytime through December 31, 2007. Students will be able to log onto Tutor.com the minute they get stuck with Algebra homework and get one-to-one help from a professional tutor for as much or as little time as they need. The service is available seven days a week from 1:00 p.m. – Midnight, Central Time. Students never need to schedule an appointment.

An expanded version of the initiative is being rolled out to the nearly 15,000 7th through 12th grade students in the Richardson Independent School District (RISD). Through the RISD partnership, Tutor.com will offer 300 minutes of homework help free, which can be used throughout the entire 2007 – 2008 school year in math, science, social studies and English. Students in the Richardson Independent School district will receive special instructions, mailed directly to their homes in early October.

Whenever a student gets stuck and needs help, he or she simply selects the grade level and subject that’s giving them difficulty. Within a few minutes, the student is connected to a professional tutor for live one-to-one help. Once connected, the student and tutor chat using instant messaging, draw problems on an interactive whiteboard, share documents to review essays and papers, and use educational resources on the Web together. Sessions are saved so that students and parents can review them at any time.

Dallas was chosen for these on demand tutoring programs because Texas recently joined a growing number of states that are raising high school academic standards, as the nation is challenged to better prepare students for higher education and fields requiring math and science proficiency. Starting with this year’s freshman class, four years of high school math and science will be required in Texas to earn a high school diploma. Educators consider Algebra a “gateway course” that can set the stage for achievement in more advanced math and other coursework requiring critical thinking skills.

“Empowering students to get help the minute they need it is the key to improving both learning and confidence,” said George Cigale, founder and CEO, Tutor.com. “Millions of students turn to us for help in math and science so we know how challenging these courses are and just how much one-to-one support children need. By offering Tutor.com to students in the Dallas area, we hope to better equip them not only for Algebra but for all the classes they must navigate as part of the more demanding high school requirements. Once families experience the power of on demand tutoring, they’ll find it an essential educational resource.”

“We are committed to helping our students achieve the highest academic performance possible and, to that end, look to provide our students and parents with a full range of educational tools both inside and outside of the classroom,” said RISD Superintendent Dr. David Simmons. “We are very excited to be working with Tutor.com to offer our students on demand homework help, and I encourage students, parents and teachers to tap into this resource.”


How to Participate: To participate in All Access Algebra, students and parents outside of the Richardson ISD can register for their free minutes at www.tutor.com/algebra between September 26 and October 10, 2007. The free minutes must be used by 12/31/07. Students in the Richardson ISD will receive information and unique access codes directly from the school district.

About Tutor.com
Tutor.com creates innovative, on demand homework help and tutoring services that connect students to a professional tutor online the moment they need help in math, science, social studies or English. Our network of over 1,800 professional tutors has delivered over 2.5 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. Tutor.com services include Tutor.com Direct, an on demand tutoring service for families and Live Homework Help, an after-school program offered at over 1,600 public libraries. Tutor.com also powers two statewide, governor-supported initiatives, HomeworkKansas and HomeworkAlabama. Tutor.com was named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program for the New York Region in 2006, was honored as one of the 25 Best Small Companies for Women 2007 by Working Mother and ranked in the first-ever Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America. For more information please visit http://www.tutor.com/ or call 1.800.411.1970.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Morning Dallas!

An energizing and sometimes scary part of my job as Founder and CEO of Tutor.com is doing interviews and acting as the company spokesperson when the press wants to report on Tutor.com. I can tell the Tutor.com story to reporters and editors of newspapers, magazines, even radio, in my sleep. Our press page (http://www.tutor.com/press/default.aspx) is full of great coverage from a variety of interviews.



But when it comes to TV, especially unedited TV with hundreds of thousands of viewers, the adrenaline starts flowing. I've heard that even actors and TV personalities have trouble watching themselves on TV. Well, I think this one came out OK -- http://www.wfaa.com/video/nspparent-index.html?nvid=176475&shu=1. Maybe even better than OK. This 5 minute appearance aired last week, on September 19th on Good Morning Texas, the Dallas-area ABC affiliate regional show that follows Good Morning, America!


Take a look and let me know what you think, and I welcome advice from TV appearance veterans who know how to control the nervousness that comes with live TV and come out looking great.


George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Math Doesn't Suck", Danica's Book and Theorem


Before I dive into "Math Doesn't Suck" and the story behind it, take a look at this clip from KTLA's morning show in LA -- http://ktla.trb.com/news/local/video/ktla-video-danicamckellar,0,1765339.htmlstory?coll=ktla-video-1.

Very cool mention about Tutor.com, and a valiant effort to make math hot (again?). Here's the background: you may remember Danica McKellar as Winnie from The Wonder Years, and more recently as Elsie from The West Wing. In between the two, among other endeavors, Danica graduated from UCLA with a degree in Mathematics and actually co-authored a Journal of Physical mathematical physics theorem (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem). Impressive stuff and she'd just getting started.

Now Danica is on a mission to inspire middle school girls to succeed in math, and make sure they have the support they need to keep confidence levels high when math gets tough. Her new book is "Math Doesn't Suck", subhead "How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail". She just got awarded the ABC World News "Person of the Week" for writing the book.

When we heard about the book, we got really excited, and after some partnership talks, now every person who purchases the book gets 75 free minutes of on demand tutoring from Tutor.com. If you've already bought the book, you just need to give us a call. If you haven't, you can go to most book sellers online, to http://www.mathdoesntsuck.com/, or to www.tutor.com/danica.

On a personal note, when I brought the book home to read, my 11 year old middle school daughter picked it up, perused the back cover to learn about the author and get the quick summary, flipped it over to the front cover, and said “this is cool, who’s the girl on the front cover?”. To which my wife replied matter of factly, “that’s the author”. My daughter, shocked, said, “I thought it was a book model! The author is a mathematician, actress, and looks so cool? Can I bring this in to school and show my friends?”

Math is cool!

George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com