Turning Points: Technology

KHC’s special initiative, Turning Points: Stories of Change, invites museums, public libraries, and other nonprofit cultural and civic groups to tell their community’s pivotal moment in history as a five-minute short film. The project is supported by a generous gift from Suzi Miner in memory of Kansas historian Craig Miner.

What is a Turning Point? Think of it as an idea, event, action, or moment in time that directly or indirectly caused decisive change in your community. This change can be social, cultural, or economic, but it ultimately, and significantly, affected your community’s way of thinking or doing.

Here are some topics and videos to use as inspiration for your Turning Points application. Note: inclusion of video or articles in this post is not an endorsement.


From the computers at our homes and businesses to the smart phones in our pockets to the ATMs at the local bank or supermarket, technology impacts every facet of our lives. Technology marks a definite turning point between “before” and “after,” but technology can also impact a community through job opportunities, access to the wider world, and by changing the ways we live and work. Ideas for Technology Turning Points include:



Much of modern life is lived online and computers, smart phones, and iPads are our gateway to the online world. Technology — and access to technology — can be a turning point for communities. Has increased access to technology, through faster internet speed or computers at the library, been a turning point for your community?
Video via NBC News.

Ideas to consider:

Read about how one-third of Americans use public library computers, according to a study from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [NBC News]

Work on the Farm & in the City

Whether you live and work in a rural area, the suburbs, or a city, technology plays a big role in your life. For farmers, technology has changed the way farmers do their job. In cities, access to high speed internet has attracted technology startups. How has technology been a turning point for your community’s workers?

Ideas to consider:

Listen to a podcast about technology innovations and farming in Goodland. [High Plains Museum]

Read about the startups springing up in the Kansas City area because of Google Fiber. [Huffington Post]


Technology innovators can be found in cities, small towns, and rural areas. Their success can be a turning point for a community economically and socially. Has a technology entrepreneur’s business success been a turning point for your community? Has an entrepreneur’s innovations created a technology turning point for your community?

Ideas to consider:

Read about a technology entrepreneur with roots in rural Iowa. [Silicon Prairie News]

The deadline for Turning Points: Stories of Change applications is July 31, 2013. Click here for application and eligibility requirements. Contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359 for more information.