Our district tries to hold Parent sessions, where we teach parents about computer skills they may need, or we show them the technology that their children are using in the classroom. We have a problem with attendance, and have offered meals, prizes, and free babysitting. Does anyone know another way to get parents to participate in meetings like these? I know that parents are bombarded by sports activities, and other meetings, what would be a good incentive for them to come out and attend?
You have described a challenge that schools everywhere face. Parents are very busy in this economy just trying to make a living for their family. You sound like you have explored the extrinsic incentives. If parents are involved with/for their children in other activities at the school, consider the following idea:
Have parents and their child come together for computer training. Some of the students could show their skills and help their parents learn. If an interpreter is needed that is good to provide. When the parents and students go home they have each other to advance their use of technology in the home. Wonderopolis is a great website to show them and get them interested and excited about extending their child's learning beyond the classroom. It can become addicting to check on the Wonder of the Day and will likely extend dinner conversations.
Another idea that you might cultivate is a Thinkfinity Community group for your parents. It is a great way to share ideas, share school projects and information even documents of interest/value to your parents. You and the parents can start discussions 24/7 and support them while they continue to support the school.