It is only relatively recently that I realised that the dashboard items were widgets.
I wonder if there could be some way to advertise them as such? Maybe there could be an "add dashboard widget" functionality, comparable to the existing functionality for adding widgets to a sidebar?
Alternatively, I wonder if new dashboard widgets should go to the top of a column so that they get noticed. After that, a user can do what he likes with them (assuming that he realises they can be moved).